Ch 8: CBEST Writing: Focused Writing

About This Chapter

Let us show you how to focus your writing. The video lessons and self-assessment quizzes in this chapter provide several approaches to help you succeed on the writing portion of the California Basic Educational Skills Test.

CBEST Writing: Focused Writing Chapter Summary

A well-structured, focused essay could lead to high marks on the writing portion of the California Basic Educational Skills Test (CBEST). The video lessons in this chapter can teach you how to respond to essay prompts, develop a thesis and capture your audience. Topics covered in this chapter on focused writing include the following:

  • Basic essay structure
  • Writing a thesis statement
  • Structuring sentences and paragraphs in an essay
  • Organizing your essay

Objectives of the CBEST Writing: Focused Writing Chapter

As a prospective K-12 public school teacher in California or Oregon, you'll need to pass the California Basic Educational Skills Test, in addition to meeting other credentialing requirements. Part of this 3-portion exam is a writing section, which requires that you complete two essays. The first will be a response to an essay prompt on a specified situation or statement, while the second must focus on a personal experience of a specific nature. You have four hours to complete these essays, along with 50 multiple-choice questions in mathematics and 50 multiple-choice questions in reading.

You can begin your path to becoming a better writer by taking the self-assessment tests in this chapter on focused writing. Then, watch the video lessons to strengthen your abilities. After watching the videos, feel free to take the self-assessments a second and even third time to see if your skills are improving.

8 Lessons in Chapter 8: CBEST Writing: Focused Writing
Test your knowledge with a 30-question chapter practice test
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.

Essay Introduction: Write a Thesis and Capture Your Audience

2. Essay Introduction: Write a Thesis and Capture Your Audience

We'll look at the importance of the introductory paragraph and engaging your audience through the use of attention getters, a bridge, and an arguable thesis. Three of the most common attention getters are specifically defined, and examples are provided in this lesson.

Basic Essay Structure: The Five-Paragraph Essay

3. 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 Write a Thesis Statement

4. How to Write a Thesis Statement

Find yourself confounded by thesis statements? Writing an excellent thesis statement doesn't require magic or luck, but it does require a few key elements we'll lay out for you in the lesson that follows.

What is a Thesis Statement?

5. What is a Thesis Statement?

Before we can talk about how to write a great thesis statement, you need to be able to identify a great thesis when you see one. Contrary to what you may have been taught, a thesis is so much more than just the last sentence of the opening paragraph of an essay.

How to Structure Paragraphs in an Essay

6. 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 Structure Sentences in an Essay

7. 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.

How to Organize an Essay

8. How to Organize an Essay

In this video, we will cover the steps involved in organizing an essay. We'll talk about titles, introductory paragraphs, concluding paragraphs, main points, transition statements and editing.

Chapter Practice Exam
Test your knowledge of this chapter with a 30 question practice chapter exam.
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Practice Final Exam
Test your knowledge of the entire course with a 50 question practice final exam.
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