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Ch 4: Writing Development, Organization & Style: CCSS.ELA-Literacy.W.8.4

About This Chapter

Use these lessons to support your understanding of the Common Core English Language Arts requirements, and show your 8th-grade students how to develop, organize and style their writing. Learn how to use the lessons in your classroom, and determine if your students have met this standards-based competency.

Standard: Produce clear and coherent writing in which the development, organization, and style are appropriate for task, purpose and audience.

About This Chapter

Students who have mastered this standard know how to respond to an essay prompt, determine their reading audience and write a well-focused essay. They also understand and practice the steps involved in the writing process, including outline, rough draft and final essay.

Standards-based topics in these lessons cover the following:

  • Reader engagement, including choosing and developing an appeal
  • The importance of essay writing and practice
  • Writing practice with limited feedback
  • Creating an outline
  • Writing the rough draft
  • Understanding the writing task, including purpose and audience considerations.

Students show that they have mastered this standard by writing a persuasive reader's appeal based on ethics, feelings or reason. They also demonstrate logical ordering in both their outlines and essays, and use the rough draft to establish the groundwork for their final papers. Throughout the writing process, the development and organization of the essay reflects attention to the text's purpose and audience.

How to Use These Lessons in Your Classroom

Reader Engagement Lesson

View the reader engagement lesson at the beginning of class. Show age-appropriate advertisements or photographs from the local newspaper, and ask students if the examples appeal to them on an emotional, logical or moral basis. For homework, students will choose from a pre-selected 'grab bag' of folded ads or photos, and use their selection to write a one-paragraph reader's appeal.

Writing the Outline Lesson

Watch and discuss the outline lesson at the start of class. As an in-class activity, students will compare an outline and the final version of a short passage. For homework, students will research and write an outline for a pre-selected topic.

Writing the Rough Draft Lesson

Assign the writing the rough draft lesson for homework, and follow up with a discussion on the best ways to organize and develop a piece of writing, according to purpose and prospective audience. Present students with a hypothetical topic, and talk about the ways their approach might differ if the purpose of the essay was to argue, describe or explain the subject. Discuss how their writing strategies might differ if they were writing for their peers, parents, teachers or elected officials.

6 Lessons in Chapter 4: Writing Development, Organization & Style: CCSS.ELA-Literacy.W.8.4
How to Focus Your Essay and Respond to the Essay Prompt

1. How to Focus Your Essay and Respond to the Essay Prompt

In this video, learn how to ensure that your writing responds directly to your assignment. Then find out how to spot where you may have strayed from the paper's point and how to get back on track.

Writing for Your Audience

2. Writing for Your Audience

By understanding some fundamental characteristics about your audience, you can write more effectively and be in better control of how well your writing is received by that audience. This video explains the basic points that you should consider in order to provide more informative and more persuasive essays for your readers.

How to Engage Readers by Picking and Developing an Appeal

3. How to Engage Readers by Picking and Developing an Appeal

There are three types of appeals that you can use in your persuasive writing to make your arguments more effective. In this video, you'll learn about logical, ethical, and emotional appeals as well as how to use them.

Practicing Essay Writing to Get Better at Writing

4. Practicing Essay Writing to Get Better at Writing

It can be tough to practice your essay-writing skills on your own without a teacher's feedback. With some time and practice (and by using this game plan), you'll be on your way to practicing, evaluating and improving your writing.

How to Write an Outline for an Essay or Research Paper

5. How to Write an Outline for an Essay or Research Paper

This lesson will cover two types of outline that you might use to help you organize your ideas and research. It will also cover what sort of ideas will go directly into the outline itself.

Choosing How to Organize Your Writing: Task, Purpose & Audience

6. Choosing How to Organize Your Writing: Task, Purpose & Audience

By following a series of tasks, making sure to decide upon our purpose for writing and tailoring the paper to our audience, we can write stronger essays and reports. Watch this lesson to find out how to do these things.

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