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Ch 10: MTEL: Organizing an Essay

About This Chapter

The videos and texts in this chapter will help you prepare for the writing subtest of the MTEL Communication and Literacy Skills exam. Expert instruction and self-assessment quizzes come together to give you a comprehensive review and practice resource.

MTEL: Organizing an Essay - Chapter Summary

The videos and texts in this chapter can help you prepare for the Massachusetts Test for Educator Licensure (MTEL) Communication and Literacy Skills exam by giving you a thorough review of the basics of drafting and organizing ideas into an essay. Each video and/or text includes an engaging lesson by one of our experienced instructors focusing on a single aspect of essay organization. Here you will get a review on topics including:

  • Writing an outline
  • Methods and patterns for organizing essays
  • Essay structure
  • Sentence and paragraph structure
  • Improving writing through practice

The videos and texts are only about five minutes long but they pack a lot of useful information and examples into that time, along with some fun graphics to act as a memory aid. Take the lesson quizzes to check your understanding of critical concepts. Then, follow the links in the quiz summary to return to troublesome areas. The chapter exam will help you prepare for test day by presenting questions in multiple-choice format that are similar to those on the real test.

MTEL: Organizing an Essay Chapter Objectives

The MTEL Communication and Literacy Skills exam is a computer-based test which includes two subtests -- reading and writing - that you can take together or apart. You will have four hours per testing session in either case, giving you more time if you take the tests apart but also costing you twice as much in registration fees. The skills practiced in this chapter principally address objective 0007 in the writing subtest, which asks you to demonstrate understanding of how to establish and maintain a main idea. Objective 0007 accounts for roughly 15% of the score. Topics related to organizing an essay will also be important for the two open-response exercises which together comprise 50% of the score.

You can register online and retrieve your detailed score report on the MTEL website. You must achieve a score of 240 to pass and receive your teaching license.

10 Lessons in Chapter 10: MTEL: Organizing an Essay
How to Write an Outline

1. How to Write an Outline

Whether it's a doctoral thesis or high school essay, outlining is crucial to writing success. This lesson emphasizes the importance of outlines and specifically addresses the three most common outlines for writers to utilize.

Organizational Patterns for Writing: Purpose and Types

2. Organizational Patterns for Writing: Purpose and Types

Ever read a piece of writing and simply not understand the message? Knowing the structure of the writing will often help you understand it. Watch this video lesson to learn about structure of writing.

Organizing and Categorizing Ideas, Concepts and Information

3. Organizing and Categorizing Ideas, Concepts and Information

In this lesson, you will learn clear, simple ways to group your ideas together. First, you'll figure out what the paper is about, and then the rest is easy!

Basic Essay Structure: The Five-Paragraph Essay

4. Basic Essay Structure: The Five-Paragraph Essay

Working with an established essay structure provides writers with the necessary elements of a successful essay. In this lesson, we'll work through the drafting process for the five-paragraph essay and make note of important dos and don'ts.

How to Structure Sentences in an Essay

5. How to Structure Sentences in an Essay

Sometimes we know what we want to write, but we are just unsure of the best way to write it. In this video, we will cover ways to structure sentences in an essay.

Paragraphs: Definition & Rules

6. Paragraphs: Definition & Rules

Almost all forms of writing are structured into paragraphs. Watch this video lesson to learn not only the definition and purpose of a paragraph but its proper structure and how to make a paragraph effective.

How to Structure Paragraphs in an Essay

7. How to Structure Paragraphs in an Essay

When structuring a paragraph, you shouldn't just go throwing together a few sentences. The sentences that make up a paragraph should all flow together and represent the same topic to make up a strong paragraph. This video explains how to put together your sentences and paragraphs to maximize their impact.

How to Write Better by Improving Your Sentence Structure

8. How to Write Better by Improving Your Sentence Structure

Often times in writing, we know what we want to say, but it doesn't seem to come out right. In this video we will learn the steps needed to improve your writing with better sentence structure.

Practicing Essay Writing to Get Better at Writing

9. 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.

Structuring Paragraphs and Sentences: Tips and Tricks

10. Structuring Paragraphs and Sentences: Tips and Tricks

Once you've developed an outline, it's time to begin drafting your essay. This lesson will walk you through the steps of putting together a body paragraph and show you how to ensure that your paragraphs are unified, coherent and well-developed.

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