Helping students analyze texts
Higher levels of critical analysis writing require students to think across texts and authors. Often this practice requires an ability to put aside author style momentarily in order to get to the bottom of how an author has developed a character.
School is about to start for most students in the United States. It’s that time of year when learners and teachers alike prepare for the work ahead, excited about opportunities for intellectual growth. That learning and growth alway include writing. For some, no problem. For others, dread sets in at the very mention of written assignments.
Sample assessment items related to Common Core writing that are now available put students in a difficult position. If you are an expert writer, you understand the difficulty presented by a task that requires cross-textual analysis. You understand the potential pitfalls of guessing exactly what is to be examined in the multiple texts and how that examination will be accepted by the reader.
Do you remember what it was like to write an essay that was intended to demonstrate to a teacher everything you knew about one topic?
Do you recall what it was like to write that paper?
Did you struggle at all to meet the requirements of that assignment?
Meeting the Common Core, one assignment at a time.
Common Core State Standard
Grade 7 Writing:
Common Core State Standard 7.W.1 (2010) reads as follows:
Write arguments to support claims with clear reasons and relevant evidence.
A deeper dive on writing standard 2 for secondary students:
W.6.2 asks students “to write informative/explanatory texts to examine a topic and convey ideas, concepts, and information through the selection, organization, and analysis of relevant content.”
What are the most important elements of this standard? To begin, there has to be a subject matter that students have had sufficient opportunity to investigate and consider if they are to produce text that examines the topic.