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									Persuasive Writing Task:
Letter to the principal
Adapted from the 2004 Queensland Years 3, 5 and 7 Test


January 2011
Contents
Section 1 .................................................................................................................... 1
        Guidelines for using this task ...............................................................................1
        Writing task stimulus: Letter to the principal .........................................................2
        Scripted task instructions to students...................................................................3
        Marking grids ......................................................................................................6


Section 2 .................................................................................................................... 9
        Ideas for the teaching of writing ...........................................................................9
        Commentary on student responses and teaching issues........................................9


Section 3 – Annotated exemplar scripts ..................................................................... 11


Section 4 – Grammar notes........................................................................................ 67


Section 5 – Glossary.................................................................................................. 76




                                                                                   Queensland Studies Authority           2011     |   iii
iv   | Contents
Section 1
Guidelines for using this task
This Writing task was used in 2004 as part of the Queensland Years 3, 5 and 7 Literacy and Numeracy tests. It is
adapted here to serve as a classroom resource. It can be used to teach students how to produce, on demand, the
kind of writing which develops a “point of view”, to substantiate their opinion and thus display their ability to use
language as a persuasive tool. Because the ethos, population and organisational structures of schools are
different, the stimulus was intended to be a springboard for teachers to move discussion from the four examples
given to other subject matter more relevant to the educational setting and interests of their students.
To do the task well, students need to make decisions about “contextual factors”, namely
• consider subject matter they need to include in their response
• describe an issue that is important to them and about which they feel strongly
• consider what effect they want their letter to have
• understand a social situation and the role of people within it
• demonstrate how this understanding is communicated through their choices of language.
The result of these decisions will dictate how students construct their texts in reply. It will influence the
• overall structure of the text
• way the ideas are related to each other through the text
• relative importance or weighting of ideas
• certainty or power with which ideas are expressed
• vocabulary through which they are expressed.
The intention is to have students writing with a persuasive purpose rather than trying to create a script that copies
a supposed model of a “persuasive text”. It is best to teach and assess the ability to make decisions about writing
rather than the ability to copy a model.
By analysing the student responses with the associated marking grid and the sample student responses and
commentary from statewide performance on this task, teachers can assess where each student needs specific
assistance to improve their abilities with persuasive writing or writing skills generally.

Note on NAPLAN preparation
The 2011 NAPLAN writing test, like this one, demands persuasive writing. However, the conditions for the NAPLAN
persuasive writing test are much less scaffolded than those set out here and the format of the NAPLAN stimulus is
also different.
Writing tasks suitable for familiarising students with NAPLAN test conditions and formats are available on the
QSA’s NAPLAN website along with a full set of literacy test items. The ACARA NAPLAN website also has a writing
task and the NAPLAN marking guide.

Materials
Students need
• the stimulus page (A4 colour page giving topic and task on one side and planning hints on the other side)
• a soft pencil, eraser,
• two or three pages of lined paper and one page for planning. Note: To prevent students taking time on the
   “salutation” part of a letter, ensure that all student responses begin with “Dear Principal” only.
Teachers need
• the marking grid (rubric). This rubric is designed specifically for this task. It helps to identify each student’s
   level of achievement and indicates what they need to be taught as a next step
• sample student scripts (to help apply the marking grid)
• commentary on statewide performance on the task (to guide follow-up teaching).




                                                                             Queensland Studies Authority       2011    |   1
    Writing task stimulus: Letter to the principal


          Think about something that concerns you about your school.
          Write a letter to your principal to explain
           ! what it is that you don’t like

           ! why you don’t like it

           ! how the problem could be fixed.




2   | Instruction and stimulus
Scripted task instructions to students
Note: The task was originally meant to be a standardised test with scripted administration
instructions. For teaching purposes, teachers are free to vary this script.

Copy this table below onto the board.

                  WRITING TASK
 Steps                                                  Time

 1. Introduction and discussion                         10 minutes

 2. Planning for the writing                            5 minutes

 3. Writing                                             25 minutes

 4. Proofreading and editing                            5 minutes


1. Introduction and discussion (up to 10 minutes)
READ

 Look at the page with “Letter to the principal” written at the top.
 I want you to make your writing as real as possible, as if it really could be sent to our principal to
 convince [him/her] about something that you think they should do or know about the school.
 First, we will spend some time talking about the task.
 Then you will have about 5 minutes to plan before you begin to write your letter.
 You will have 25 minutes to write your letter and then 5 minutes to proofread and edit your work.

Lead your students in a class discussion to raise ideas that students can write about. A quick and focused
discussion is most likely to be effective. It is important to end the discussion before the topic becomes stale. If they
wish to do so, allow students to write key words on the stimulus page or their planning page as the ideas are
raised.
The intent of the discussion is to help the students:
• understand the task
• engage with the task
• create and order their own ideas.
Teach students how to use a writing stimulus page. Show students how to find the topic and the task instructions.
Show them how to brainstorm ideas then lead them to select and develop one idea. This task’s stimulus page
provides four possible examples of topics that might concern students — playground facilities, bullying, littering
and drinking fountains. Make sure students know that these are examples only and they are free to pick any issue
that concerns them. Discourage students from doing a “tour of the stimulus” where they write about all the
pictures. This will make it unlikely that they can develop a substantiated opinion.
Include discussion of their audience — the role they want to take and the kind of relationship they want to build
with the principal. They have to decide
• what they want the principal to
    – know
    – think
    – feel
• how they want the principal to react to their letter
• what the principal’s role in the school is
• what their role in the school is.




                                                                             Queensland Studies Authority      2011        |   3
    You might want to establish a believable context in which students would write directly to the school principal. For
    example, it could be a case where the teacher has specially asked students to write so that the principal will know
    what they think.
    If they wish to do so, allow students to write key words on the stimulus or their planning page as the ideas are
    raised.
    Teachers are only permitted to write Dear Principal on the board for the students to start their letter. Except for that,
    DO NOT WRITE ON THE BLACKBOARD. DO NOT WRITE OR SPELL ANY WORDS FOR STUDENTS.
    Allow up to 10 minutes for this discussion.

    2. Planning the writing
    READ

     It is now time to decide what ideas you will write about, and then make some planning notes on a
     separate planning page to organise your ideas.
     Planning your writing helps you remember:
     • what you want to write about
     • how you want your readers to think and feel
     • how you want to organise your ideas.
     Think about the things we have just talked about. Remember you must write a letter to the principal
     about something that concerns you and that you would like to change. Plan to explain the reasons why
     you think so. It would also help the principal to understand if you explain how things might be
     changed or improved.
     Here are some ways to plan:
     • Make a web. Put the topic you want to write about in the middle. Put your ideas in bubbles around
          the sides.
     OR
     • Make a heading of the topic you want to write about. Then list some ideas underneath.
     OR
     • Draw some pictures about a topic you would like to write about. Make some labels to help you write.
     You can use your planning page any way you like BUT DO NOT BEGIN YOUR WRITING ON IT. It will not be
     marked.
     You must do your planning by yourself so the ideas you use belong only to you. This is what makes your
     writing unique.
     While you are planning, think about:
     • the issue you feel most strongly about
     • the ideas you have for improving or fixing this issue
     • how to order your ideas to present your case
     • how to link the ideas to make your letter easy to read
     • how to appeal to the editor so that she will want to publish your letter
     • how much you can write in 25 minutes.
     You have 5 minutes to do your planning. I will tell you when your time is up. Begin now.

    During the planning stage ensure all students are writing. The aim is to have students draft ideas that will assist
    their writing.
    • Remind students they must write a letter to the principal about something they feel quite strongly about. They
       do not have to limit themselves to the content shown on the stimulus, but what they write must be true to the
       task.
    • If some students cannot think of any ideas, you will need to revisit ideas from the earlier discussion.
    • Do not help students construct their letters.
    At the end of 5 minutes ask students to put their pencils down.




4   | Instruction and stimulus
3. Writing
READ

 It is now time to begin writing your letter.
 Make your writing easy to read and interesting.
 Make sure you finish your letter and give all the information a reader needs to understand the
 arguments you are making. Your reader cannot ask you any questions if your writing is not clear. From
 your writing, your reader has to know what you think and feel about your ideas or any concerns you
 have identified. Make sure you explain why your ideas about this issue are good ones and why they will
 work.
 As you write, remember to:
 • explain what it is you think, why you think this way, what might happen (as a result of your ideas)
 • organise your ideas so that they are clear to your readers
 • write in sentences and paragraphs
 • use words that describe what you think and feel
 • use the right punctuation to make your meaning clear
 • use your best spelling and clear handwriting.
 Use one or both of the lined pages to write your letter.
 You have 25 minutes to write. Try to use all of your time.
 I will tell you when there are 5 minutes left so you can finish your writing.
 After that, there will be 5 minutes to proofread, edit and check your work.
 Begin now.

Indicate to students exactly where they can write.
After 20 minutes,
READ

 You have 5 minutes left to finish your writing.
 If you have already finished, use this time to start checking your work.

4. Proofreading and editing
After 5 minutes,
READ

 You need to stop writing now.
 You now have 5 minutes to proofread and edit your work.
 Make sure it makes sense. You can write in extra words if you need to.
 Make sure you have used capital letters and punctuation in the right places.
 If you haven’t written in paragraphs, mark them in now.
 Check your spelling.
 You cannot use this time to totally rewrite your letter.
 You may proofread, correct and make slight changes to your work only.

Students must use this time to edit their writing.
After 5 minutes,
READ

 Please put your pencils down. Thank you. That is the end of the writing. Well done!




                                                                            Queensland Studies Authority   2011   |   5
    Marking grids
                                                           Marking rubric – Year 3

              Contextual factors                       Text structure                        Gr, Voc, Co, Pu                            Spelling

     F   Planned response that attempts         Opening statement to reader;           basic complex sentences, e.g.         Uses knowledge of syllable           F
         to meet most demands of the            statement of opinion (issue/           time, condition, place, reason,       patterns to spell multi-syllabic
         task                                   problem), reasons, solutions;          cause                                 words with:
         attempts to engage the reader by       concluding statement to reader         some longer noun phrases —            plural or tense endings where base
         including reasons, thoughts and        may include a conversational           message for little kids               words change — activity/
         actions to justify a stated point of   gambit — Hi my name is …               begins to control modal verbs to      activities, become/becoming
         view                                                                          construct point of view               common homophones — there/
         some quality of personal voice                                                strong links between most             their, here/hear, right/write
         emerges                                                                       dominant ideas; may have a minor      difficult contractions — doesn’t,
                                                                                       disruption in the sequence            wouldn’t
                                                                                       mostly correct punctuation of
                                                                                       basic complex & simple sentences

     E   Planned response that attempts         Statement of opinion (issue/           elaborated simple sentences           Uses knowledge of internal           E
         to build a shared experience           problem), reason for issue,            some complex sentences, e.g.          word patterns to spell multi-
         with the reader                        solution/s                             causal and conditional relations      syllabic words with:
         may have too many details or           little elaboration of any of these     simple reporting clause — I think     even stress patterns — explain
         details not well integrated            stages                                                                       inflected endings with no change
                                                                                       action and simple thinking verbs,
         identifies and uses ideas from the     may have lapses in links between       some modal verbs — must, could        to base words — watching
         stimulus                               the structural elements; significant                                         compound words — teenagers,
                                                disruption in the structural           some well-chosen vocabulary —
         constructs response as a personal                                             cautious                              playground
         view — I think people should           sequence may occur at one point
                                                                                       lapses in cohesion                    basic contractions — can’t, won’t

     D   Response to the task shows some        Statement of opinion with some         basic compound sentences —            Uses knowledge of internal           D
         planning and sequencing                supporting details/reason, and a       begins to use and, but correctly      word patterns to spell single-
         ideas may not be well integrated       statement of response                  some causal relationships in          syllable words with:
         to the task                            may include the same idea              complex sentences — because, so       common long vowels — lines
         limited awareness of the reader        repeated in a number of different      vocabulary is simple, precise but     consonant blends & long vowels
                                                ways to bulk out the structure         largely unelaborated
         self-centred point of view —                                                                                        common multi-syllabic words —
         I don’t like                           OR                                     attempts to define pronouns           skateboard, because
                                                two or more sentences around           simple sentences punctuated           Errors may include complex
                                                different single ideas                 correctly                             vowel patterns — health, weigh

     C   Basic response to the task with        Statement of opinion with a            simple sentences with some            Most phonemes in single-             C
         little planning evident in text        brief attempt to support or            variety in structure                  syllable words are represented
         uses brief undeveloped ideas           elaborate                              one or two simple noun groups —       for mostly correct spelling of:
         around a simple idea or theme          OR                                     good film, cool skateboard            one syllable short-vowel words —
                                                List of single, undeveloped ideas      links between ideas largely           bin, and, bring, have
                                                expressed in sentences                 implied by sentence order; and,       common words — school, park
                                                                                       then may connect some sentences       Errors may include letter patterns
                                                                                       punctuation of simple sentences       such as mp, nd — bup (bump)
                                                                                       largely correct

     B   Response to the task shows little      Simple statement supported by          largely simple sentences with         Dominant sounds within words         B
         awareness of task demands              a series of sentences that lack        repetitive structure                  are represented — hafta, wonsa
         meaning can be made from most          coherence —                            and may be used in place of a full-   pona tim (once upon a time)
         of the text                            trees are dying                        stop                                  Correct spelling of some known
         reads like oral language               OR                                     some sentence boundaries may be       words — a, the, I, boy, own name

         may be brief                           Brief sentence that lapses into        difficult to define
                                                words describing some stimulus         everyday vocabulary
                                                aspects in an unconnected way
                                                                                       some capitals and full stops used
                                                                                       correctly

     A   Little response to the task            Little discernible structure or        incomplete or partial sentences       Words are represented by             A
         some meaning can be made               one- or two-sentence response          may include words copied from         letters, letter strings and some
                                                lists of individual words              the stimulus                          letter-like symbols — m = mum.
         uses a few unrelated ideas from
         stimulus                               identifying ideas from the             little or no punctuation
                                                stimulus
         OR
         Creates a text that responds to
         none of the task

     N                                                   Response is unintelligible or unable to be marked                                                        N
     O                                                                    Nothing on the page.                                                                    O




6   | Instruction and stimulus
                                                      Marking rubric – Year 5

        Contextual factors                        Text structure                       Gr, Voc, Co, Pu                            Spelling

H   Response is planned to take            Controls the structure to              develops and controls some          Uses internal word and syllable       H
    account of the relationship            develop an opinion and                 extended clause complexes           pattern knowledge to spell
    between the writer & reader            supporting arguments with              uses some different reporting       multi-syllabic words with:
    attempts to develop content/           evidence &/or examples &/or            clauses — I find that …             uncommon vowel patterns —
    logical & emotional themes             elaboration                            some figurative language — hare-    drought
    attempts to persuade the reader of     paragraphs are used to group           brained scheme                      common/subject-specific content
    own point of view                      major ideas but the supporting         punctuation correct most of the     — media, expensive, oxygen
                                           ideas may be lacking                   time in developed and varied
    uses techniques such as rhetorical                                                                                more difficult homophones —
    questions for emphasis/attention                                              sentence structures                 affect/effect; practice/practise

G   Planned response that meets            Provides a brief introduction          simple, compound and complex        Uses knowledge of syllables and       G
    most demands of the task               and/or states an opinion,              sentences well constructed          affixes to spell words with:
    develops subject matter from a         developing a supporting                chooses vocabulary sensitive to     a spelling-meaning link —
    community or broader perspective       argument logically without             the relationship and purpose        observe/observation
    response shows an awareness of         lapses in sequence
                                                                                  controls verb groups for tenor —    simple prefixes/suffixes with no
    the formality of the relationship      some ideas are clustered to            would be better to move             change to base words — recently,
    between reader and writer              suggest paragraphs, i.e. the hard                                          improvement, suggestion, healthy
    develops a strong personal voice       return                                 uses some extended noun groups
                                                                                  to enhance meaning                  uneven stress patterns – chocolate

F   Planned response that attempts         Opening statement to reader;           basic complex sentences, e.g.       Uses knowledge of syllable            F
    to meet most demands of the            statement of opinion (issue/           time, condition, place, reason,     patterns to spell multi-syllabic
    task                                   problem), reasons, solutions;          cause                               words with:
    attempts to engage the reader by       concluding statement to reader         some longer noun phrases —          plural or tense endings where base
    including reasons, thoughts and        may include a conversational           message for little kids             words change — activity/
    actions to justify a stated point of   gambit — Hi my name is …               begins to control modal verbs to    activities, become/becoming
    view                                                                          construct point of view             common homophones — there/
    some quality of personal voice                                                strong links between most           their, here/hear, right/write
    emerges                                                                       dominant ideas; may have a minor    difficult contractions — doesn’t,
                                                                                  disruption in the sequence          wouldn’t
                                                                                  mostly correct punctuation of
                                                                                  basic complex & simple sentences

E   Planned response that attempts         Statement of opinion (issue/           elaborated simple sentences         Uses knowledge of internal            E
    to build a shared experience           problem), reason for issue,            some complex sentences, e.g.        word patterns to spell multi-
    with the reader                        solution/s                             causal and conditional relations    syllabic words with:
    may have too many details or           little elaboration of any of these     simple reporting clause — I think   even stress patterns — explain
    details not well integrated            stages                                                                     inflected endings with no change
                                                                                  action and simple thinking verbs,
    identifies and uses ideas from the     may have lapses in links between       some modal verbs — must, could      to base words — watching
    stimulus                               the structural elements; significant                                       compound words — teenagers,
                                           disruption in the structural           some well-chosen vocabulary —
    constructs response as a personal                                             cautious                            playground
    view — I think people should           sequence may occur at one point
                                                                                  lapses in cohesion                  basic contractions — can’t, won’t

D   Response to the task shows some        Statement of opinion with some         basic compound sentences —          Uses knowledge of internal            D
    planning and sequencing                supporting details/reason, and a       begins to use and, but correctly    word patterns to spell single-
    ideas may not be well integrated       statement of response                  some causal relationships in        syllable words with:
    to the task                            may include the same idea              complex sentences — because, so     common long vowels — lines
    limited awareness of the reader        repeated in a number of different      vocabulary is simple, precise but   consonant blends & long vowels
                                           ways to bulk out the structure         largely unelaborated
    self-centred point of view —                                                                                      common multi-syllabic words —
    I don’t like                           OR                                     attempts to define pronouns         skateboard, because
                                           two or more sentences around           simple sentences punctuated         Errors may include complex
                                           different single ideas                 correctly                           vowel patterns — health, weigh

C   Basic response to the task with        Statement of opinion with a            simple sentences with some          Most phonemes in single-              C
    little planning evident in text        brief attempt to support or            variety in structure                syllable words are represented
    uses brief undeveloped ideas           elaborate                              one or two simple noun groups —     for mostly correct spelling of:
    around a simple idea or theme          OR                                     good film, cool skateboard          one syllable short-vowel words —
                                           List of single, undeveloped ideas      links between ideas largely         bin, and, bring, have
                                           expressed in sentences                 implied by sentence order; and,     common words — school, park
                                                                                  then may connect some sentences     Errors may include letter patterns
                                                                                  punctuation of simple sentences     such as mp, nd — bup (bump)
                                                                                  largely correct

N                                                   Response is unintelligible or unable to be marked                                                       N
O                                                                    Nothing on the page.                                                                   O




                                                                                                        Queensland Studies Authority                 2011       |   7
                                                   Marking rubric – Years 7 and 9

             Contextual factors                        Text structure                        Gr, Voc, Co, Pu                              Spelling

     J   Controlled, complete, effective,       Deliberately controls and              begins to control sentence form        Uses letter, syllable and meaning    J
         response                               develops the structure for effect      and length for effect                  patterns to spell words with:
         controlled development of              controls the structure to construct    clauses are signalled with accurate    common Latin and Greek roots —
         sophisticated subject matter in a      and develop different shifts in the    use of conjunctions                    ecological, desalinated, anorexic
         coherent argument with ideas that      argument                               increases lexical density, e.g. noun   absorbed prefixes — impact,
         are related to a central theme         paragraphing is developed and          and verb groups                        accumulate
         understands & uses reader’s point      used appropriately throughout the      cohesion between ideas is tight        long to schwa (neutral) vowel
         of view to persuade                    text to link and structure ideas       uses punctuation to pace the           changes — compete/competition
         develops an authoritative voice                                               reader

     I   Well-crafted response to task          Develops an extended, logical          elaborates ideas with who, which,      Uses knowledge of syllables and      I
         that appeals emotionally and/or        text                                   that, -ing and non-finite clauses      the spelling-meaning connection
         intellectually                         signals major ideas and their order    chooses vocabulary with precision      to spell words with:
         uses community values and              of importance with structural          — meets council regulations            unusual consonant patterns —
         beliefs to connect with a reader       devices such as topic sentences        maintains cohesion during shifts       appreciate, martial
                                                                                       in argument
         understands other points of view       marked paragraphs organising the                                              predictable changes — consider/
         develops a personal style to appeal    major and supporting ideas (may                                               consideration; rectangle/gular
         to the reader                          have some lapses)                                                             Errors in unstressed syllables of
                                                                                                                              longer words — responsability

     H   Response is planned to take            Controls the structure to              develops and controls some             Uses internal word and syllable      H
         account of the relationship            develop an opinion and                 extended clause complexes              pattern knowledge to spell
         between the writer & reader            supporting arguments with              uses some different reporting          multi-syllabic words with:
         attempts to develop content/           evidence &/or examples &/or            clauses — I find that …                uncommon vowel patterns —
         logical & emotional themes             elaboration                            some figurative language — hare-       drought
         attempts to persuade the reader of     paragraphs are used to group           brained scheme                         common/subject-specific content
         own point of view                      major ideas but the supporting         punctuation correct most of the        — media, expensive, oxygen
                                                ideas may be lacking                   time in developed and varied
         uses techniques such as rhetorical                                                                                   more difficult homophones —
         questions for emphasis/attention                                              sentence structures                    affect/effect; practice/practise

     G   Planned response that meets            Provides a brief introduction          simple, compound and complex           Uses knowledge of syllables and      G
         most demands of the task               and/or states an opinion,              sentences well constructed             affixes to spell words with:
         develops subject matter from a         developing a supporting                chooses vocabulary sensitive to        a spelling-meaning link —
         community or broader perspective       argument logically without             the relationship and purpose           observe/observation
         response shows an awareness of         lapses in sequence
                                                                                       controls verb groups for tenor —       simple prefixes/suffixes with no
         the formality of the relationship      some ideas are clustered to            would be better to move                change to base words — recently,
         between reader and writer              suggest paragraphs, i.e. the hard                                             improvement, suggestion, healthy
         develops a strong personal voice       return                                 uses some extended noun groups
                                                                                       to enhance meaning                     uneven stress patterns – chocolate

     F   Planned response that attempts         Opening statement to reader;           basic complex sentences, e.g.          Uses knowledge of syllable           F
         to meet most demands of the            statement of opinion (issue/           time, condition, place, reason,        patterns to spell multi-syllabic
         task                                   problem), reasons, solutions;          cause                                  words with:
         attempts to engage the reader by       concluding statement to reader         some longer noun phrases —             plural or tense endings where base
         including reasons, thoughts and        may include a conversational           message for little kids                words change — activity/
         actions to justify a stated point of   gambit — Hi my name is …               begins to control modal verbs to       activities, become/becoming
         view                                                                          construct point of view                common homophones — there/
         some quality of personal voice                                                strong links between most              their, here/hear, right/write
         emerges                                                                       dominant ideas; may have a minor       difficult contractions — doesn’t,
                                                                                       disruption in the sequence             wouldn’t
                                                                                       mostly correct punctuation of
                                                                                       basic complex & simple sentences

     E   Planned response that attempts         Statement of opinion (issue/           elaborated simple sentences            Uses knowledge of internal           E
         to build a shared experience           problem), reason for issue,            some complex sentences, e.g.           word patterns to spell multi-
         with the reader                        solution/s                             causal and conditional relations       syllabic words with:
         may have too many details or           little elaboration of any of these     simple reporting clause — I think      even stress patterns — explain
         details not well integrated            stages                                                                        inflected endings with no change
                                                                                       action and simple thinking verbs,
         identifies and uses ideas from the     may have lapses in links between       some modal verbs — must, could         to base words — watching
         stimulus                               the structural elements; significant                                          compound words — teenagers,
                                                disruption in the structural           some well-chosen vocabulary —
         constructs response as a personal                                             cautious                               playground
         view — I think people should           sequence may occur at one point
                                                                                       lapses in cohesion                     basic contractions — can’t, won’t

     N                                                   Response is unintelligible or unable to be marked                                                         N
     O                                                                    Nothing on the page.                                                                     O




8   | Instruction and stimulus
Section 2
Ideas for the teaching of writing
• Study what you teach. Practice writing the texts you want your students to write.
• Consider the use of a writing workshop. There are a number of commercial publications that will be of
  assistance in developing this approach. Be aware of the widespread influence of the book, The art of teaching
  writing by Lucy Calkins (1986).
• At the beginning of your teaching sequence, provide a model of the kind of writing you want students to
  produce and let them know the criteria on which it will be judged. Ideally, build these up from reading lessons.
  When teaching reading or teaching from reading materials, help students to apply the techniques of authors to
  their writing.
• Model for the students the thinking processes of writing. Show them how you bring ideas for writing together,
  the decisions you make and their relationship to your purpose and your target audience. Model how to select
  and develop a single theme.
• The strategy of top-level structuring is useful for teaching students about the logical relations between clauses.
• Use mini-lessons to develop particular skills such as the development of sentence structure or forming a good
  thesis.

Spelling
• Teach students about the spelling system through activities such as word sorts. Have a “no excuses” list of
  spelling that you and your students have identified during writing and spelling activities. The content of the list
  should change over time.
• Make links between spelling and vocabulary. Use activities such as visual schematics, semantic maps, word
  maps or vocabulary notebooks.
• Develop a spelling conscience in your students. Encourage students to spell correctly as often as possible and
  to develop strategies for monitoring and revising spelling.


Commentary on student responses and teaching issues
The commentary that follows was originally published in the 2004 Test reporting handbook and the comments
apply to the writing produced that year.
The comments below are arranged under the criteria contextual factors, textual factors and spelling. In the section
that follows however, sample student scripts have been reproduced and the scores and annotations of these
divide the criteria of textual factors into text structure on one hand and grammar, vocabulary, cohesion,
punctuation on the other.

Contextual factors
Asking the students to write to their own school principal helped them to conceptualise the contextual demands of
the task. Students had a chance to identify something that they felt strongly about. Like all of us, students write
better when they are emotionally engaged and can write in their own voice. Students who understood and took
control of the contextual factors showed qualities that made their writing really shine. They understood that
writing to their principal required them to acknowledge the formal relationship between themselves and their
principal. Accordingly, they needed to construct a respectful, organised and positive response. Comments from the
markers indicated that they found the students’ letters interesting. On the other hand, the scripts that showed a
recipe-like format lacked these qualities. More importantly, they lacked the individual voice of the students.
Younger students tended to select issues that were of concern to them. These included personal issues such as too
much spelling or maths or the lack of their desired food in the tuckshop. Typical examples can be seen in the
scripts included in Appendix 12 (samples 2 and 3). As can be seen in the second example, students understood
the power relationships of schools very well.
Older students approached the task from a much more community-based perspective. They tended to identify
issues that were of significance to the whole community. The way they structured their texts showed that they
understood the need to develop a positive relationship with the principal and to develop a coherent explanation or
argument to support their point of view.




                                                                           Queensland Studies Authority      2011       |   9
     The very best students could identify the issues relevant to their community and they could also identify with the
     principal, using his/her point of view to develop their ideas.

     Textual factors
     Students that scored highly in the writing task showed control and precision in their writing. They had effective,
     well-ordered organisation. The cohesion of their ideas through the text was for the most part very tight. These
     students were able to use their control over clause structure to signal the links between ideas and to extend their
     descriptions. These more able students were also able to use rhetorical devices such as humour to engage their
     audience and to develop their own voice.
     These students were also able to use paragraphing to group their ideas and lead readers through the text. They not
     only used punctuation to mark out the boundaries between ideas, they also were beginning to use punctuation to
     pace their readers.
     The lack of cohesion of the ideas and the quality of the clause structure were factors that marked the next groups
     of students. One of the reasons for telling the students to select only one issue to write about was because
     students are more likely to write more cohesively if they take one idea and develop it. Students in this group
     sometimes took several ideas and were unable to sustain a cohesive piece of writing. No additional penalty was
     applied to students for having written about more than one idea.
     The lack of control these students had over their clause structure was reflected in the phenomenon of ‘talk written
     down’. At times they still used clauses joined by and or and then to give sequence. Another manifestation of this
     problem was the use of unreferenced pronouns.
     Students awarded grades in the middle range sometimes had poorer punctuation than less able writers. This can
     occur when students begin to build better and more complex clause structures; students have trouble working out
     where the boundaries between the ideas are. While it can be a sign of growth in their writing, this seriously
     reduces the readability of the writing. Short lessons focused on the role punctuation plays in the construction of
     meaning would help this group.
     Students achieving lower grades tended to rely on the sequence of clauses to infer the relationship between their
     ideas.

     Spelling in writing
     The full range of spelling development is evident in the scripts. A very small percentage of students demonstrated
     spelling knowledge which appeared to be in the pre-phonemic stage of spelling — these are very largely students
     whose scripts were rated N — unable to be marked. These children presented words with letters and letter strings.
     A small but significant number of students were rated as showing spelling development in the semi-phonemic
     stage. These were students who represented the dominant sounds of words.
     Most students demonstrated spelling that suggested development in the letter-name, within-word and syllable-
     juncture stages. Many students are still developing control over the more sophisticated aspects of spelling,
     including the ability to:
     • use the correct letter patterns in unstressed syllables
     • add affixes, particularly to multisyllabic words,
     • use the spelling-meaning connection.
     In summary, the writing task was effective in discriminating aspects of writing performance. The task gave
     students the chance to write with their own voice and they appear to have done so.




10   | Commentary
Section 3 – Annotated exemplar scripts
These scripts, annotations and scores exemplify how the criteria and standards rubric is applied and how students
at different levels tend to respond to the task.
These scripts can be used with students in conversations about the different qualities of writing and what might be
done by a particular writer to move the writing to the next level. They might also be used in porfessional
deevlopment activities. To support that use, a commentary template has been included on page 66.




Script 1 — Mr Sexton

 Contextual factors
            Uses an idea from the stimulus.
    A       Some meaning can be made.


 Text structure
            Paragraphs indicate some structural organisation in the text but organisation of ideas is not
    A       discernible.


 Grammar, vocabulary, cohesion, punctuation

    A       Some sentence boundaries can be inferred. Little punctuation.



 Spelling
            Correct spelling of some known words – is, so, the, look, we.
    B       Dominant sounds represented in most words – letr (litter) scoolle, skoolle (school) pepl (people).
            Word boundaries not well defined,




                                                                          Queensland Studies Authority      2011      |   11
       Script 1 — Mr Sexton

                                            Understands the purpose of a letter.



States a
problem.




Some
meaning can
be made.
                                                                                     Punctuation
                                                                                     and
                                                                                     conjunctions
                                                                                     suggest
                                                                                     relationships
                                                                                     between ideas
                                                                                     that cannot be
States a                                                                             discerned.
solution, the
meaning of
which is
                                                                                      Letter strings
unclear.



                                                                                   Little
                                                                                   punctuation


                              Word boundaries not well defined.




  12   | Annotated scripts
Script 2 — Mr Halster

 Contextual factors
            Brief response to task.
   B        Meaning can be made from most of the text (when “yomfs” is understood as “uniforms”).


 Text structure

   B        Simple orientation – states solution. Supported by 1 or 2 sentences – a problem and a reason.



 Grammar, vocabulary, cohesion, punctuation

   B        Largely simple sentences. Some punctuation to mark sentence boundaries.



 Spelling
            Represents the dominant sounds in two syllable words – yomfs (uniforms), noml (normal), misd
   B        (mister) wen (when).
            Correct spelling of known words – school, time, home, rid, day, get, of




                                                                         Queensland Studies Authority   2011   |   13
     Script 2 — Mr Halster

                                                     States solution – order,
                                                     inappropriate to student
                                                                       student–
                                                     principal relationship.
                                                     Order softened – please.
                              Key to understanding


                                                            States problem –
                                                            “I” centred

                                                                 Some known
                                                                 words

                                                                   Supporting
                                                                   reason




                                                          Spelling – represents
                             Some punctuation
                                                          the dominant sounds




14   | Annotated scripts
Script 3 — Mr Hamling

Contextual factors
           Begins to develop a self-centred focus. Too brief to merit a D score.
           The attempt to mimic polite spoken requests shows some understanding of the tenor of the reader/
  C        writer relationship.
           There is a little planning evident. The first sentence tries to be clear about what the writer does not
           like.


Text structure
           There is a statement of opinion with two suggested solutions. No reasons are given and the script is
  C        too brief for a D score.


Grammar, vocabulary, cohesion, punctuation
           The order of the sentences suggests the logical relationship between them. To move beyond C, the
           student needs to use words about cause and purpose. The noun group “short drink” is typical of a C.
  C        Sentence boundaries are shown, although required question marks are not used. Incorrect full stop
           after “people”.


Spelling
           Most phonemes in single syllable words are represented.
           Mostly correct spelling of single-syllable words – like, think.
  C        Despite some control of the internal patterns of words – could, please – errors show this skill is not
           mastered – field (filled), Hamiling (Hamling), evrey (every), wating (waiting)




                                                                             Queensland Studies Authority    2011    |   15
     Script 3— Dear Mr Hamling



         First person
         point of view

      Tenor appropriate          States problem
      to relationship


           Gives a reason             Errors include
                                      complex long
                                      vowels
           Suggests
           actions




           Mostly correct         Represents single
           spelling of one-       phonemes
           syllable short
           vowel words.




16   | Annotated scripts
Script 4 — Mr McFadden

Contextual factors
           Response to the task shows some planning and sequencing.
  D        Selects an idea related to the task – could be better elaborated.


Text structure

  E        States problems; includes some details. States solution.



Grammar, vocabulary, cohesion, punctuation

  D        Simple causal relationships – I don’t like it because ...



Spelling
           Mostly correct spelling of common long vowel patterns – canteen, prices.
           Mostly correct spelling of words adding tense and plural endings – waiting, fixed
  D        Errors in representing final sounds amoud (amount), stuf (stuff),
           Error in a common word – to (too)




                                                                         Queensland Studies Authority   2011   |   17
     Script 4 — Mr McFadden
                                                 States his purpose
                                                 for writing          Prices aspect
                                                                      not elaborated




                                            States the problem
       Simple cause
       relationships




                              Supports with reasons

                                         Unreferenced pronouns
         Solution




18   | Annotated scripts
Script 5 — Dear Principal (Zeke)

 Contextual factors
            A planned response with episodic sequences. Shows an awareness of the need to build a shared
   E        experience – asks the principal to see the problem through his eyes.


 Text structure
            Opening statement (description), problem and list of solutions. Ideas are organised from a personal
   E        perspective – I don’t like ..., I have a couple of ideas ..., we’re tired of waiting.


 Grammar, vocabulary, cohesion, punctuation
            Causes and consequences developed. Some clause structures are not well developed.
            Difficulty with pronoun referencing (page 2), which means some ideas are not well integrated.


 Spelling
            Shows an understanding of the internal patterns of words – couple, mouth, waiting, bottle. Some
            lapses – beps (beeps), studets (students), teather (teacher), there (their), intil (until) judy (duty).
   D        Evidence that more advanced levels are not mastered – conesined (concerned), idears (ideas), funton
            (fountain).




                                                                          Queensland Studies Authority      2011      |   19
     Script 5 — Dear Principal (Zeke)




                                        Sets the scene
                                        through his eyes




                                                   Cause



      Problem




                                           Personal view




                                              Justifies
                                              problem
                                              to other
                                              point of
                                              view




20   | Annotated scripts
Script 5 — Dear Principal (Zeke)


                                                          List of ideas



                                                  Sentence boundaries
                                                  unclear



                                                    Repetitive sentence
                                                    structure




                                                  Multiple use of ‘you’-
                                                  unreferenced




                                   Queensland Studies Authority   2011    |   21
     Script 5 — Dear Principal



                           Reason




22   | Annotated scripts
Script 6 — Dear principal (K)

 Contextual factors
            A planned, sequenced response; related to topic and the demands of the task.
            Attempts to engage reader by including reasons and thoughts. Contructs a personal but collective
   F        response – We can help you with this problem.
            Provides many details – some unnecessary.


 Text structure

   F        Opening statement to the reader, problem, reasons, solutions, concluding statement I hope you will.



 Grammar, vocabulary, cohesion, punctuation
            Basic complex and compound sentences – some not well constructed. Some loss of punctuation to
            indicate the sentence boundaries.
            Uses modal verbs to indicate the sense of obligation – you can put
   E        Some thinking feeling verbs – We don’t like ..., it frustrates us...
            Some ideas not well linked – difficulty in pronoun referencing.
            Some vocabulary chosen with precision – frustrates, dehydration, install.


 Spelling
            Shows an understanding of adding affixes – one error happend, (happened).
   E        Mostly correct spelling of multi-syllabic words – frustrates, dehydration – errors soulutions
            (solutions).




                                                                             Queensland Studies Authority   2011   |   23
     Script 6 — Dear Principal (K)




                                                       A planned and sequenced response,
                                                       relates to the topic and task demands




                                     Attempts to engage the reader
                                     by including thoughts and reasons




      Painting the
                                                                                    Provides many
      picture from
                                                                                    details – some
      her point
                                                                                    unnecessary
      of view



                                                                                       Complex
                                                                                       sentences
                                                                                       some not
                                                                                       well
                                                                                       constructed



      States the
      problem




                                                                                           Gives
                                                                                           reasons




      Basic                                                                               Puts the
      complex                                                                             student
      sentences                                                                           point of
                                                                                          view




24   | Annotated scripts
Script 6 — Dear Principal (K)
                                     No paragraphing in main body




Vocabulary
                                                               Relationship
chosen for
                                                               building
emotive
effect                                                         Modal verbs



                                                                 Change
                                                                 of tenor –
                                                                 awareness
                                                                 of reader




                                                                 Sentence
                                                                 boundaries
                                                                  lost




                                                                 Clarity lost
                                                                 in linking
                                                                 of ideas –
                                                                 pronoun
                                                                 referencing




                                Queensland Studies Authority   2011   |   25
     Script 6 — Dear Principal (K)




26   | Annotated scripts
Script 7 — Dear Mr Harrison

 Contextual factors
            Response shows an awareness of the formality of the relationship between reader and writer.
   G        Attempts to develop the subject matter from a school or class perspective.


 Text structure
            Sequences her argument factually and emotionally. The flow from one issue to another could be
   G        better sequenced and linked.
            Ideas are grouped into paragraphs.


 Grammar, vocabulary, cohesion, punctuation
            Controls and varies sentence structures for effect, despite some verb flaws..
   G        Chooses vocabulary sensitive to the relationship and purpose – privileged.


 Spelling
            Shows an understanding of adding affixes – installed, unicycles.
   E        Correct spelling of mutisyllable words – proposals.
            Errors include intrests (interests), exersise (exercise), priveliged (privileged), nessercery (necessary).




                                                                            Queensland Studies Authority       2011      |   27
     Script 7 — Dear Mr Harrison




                                   Awareness of the relationship
                                   and its formality




                                     Sentences contain
                                     extending phrases




                                                            Develops a
                                                            strong personal
                                                            voice




                                                                   Includes the
                                                                   weight of
                                                                   other’s point
                                                                   of view




                                                               Argues the
                                                               community
                                                               benefit




28   | Annotated scripts
Script 7 — Dear Mr Harrison

Clusters ideas into
paragraphs




                                                           Structures the
                                                           writing to appeal to
                                                           to the reader
                                                           emotionally and
                                                           personally




                                               Uses simple and complex
                                               sentences effectively




                              Appeals for action
                              in a way that shows
                              awareness of the
                              relationship.




                                    Queensland Studies Authority   2011   |   29
     Script 8 — Dear Mr John

      Contextual factors
                 Attempts to develop a relationship with the reader – Although am overall very happy with the school
                 ..., I enjoy being a student here ..., I want to thank you ..
          I      Understands other points of view – I am suggesting ..., if you could come up with a better point of
                 view.


      Text structure

         H       Structures the problem and solution sequence to appeal to the principal emotionally and personally.



      Grammar, vocabulary, cohesion, punctuation
                 Uses simple, compound and complex sentences with variety and some elaboration appropriately
                 and for effect.
         G       Selects language that reflects the interpersonal or emotional aspects of the student–principal
                 relationship – rather lacking, seem to disappear.


      Spelling
                 Shows an understanding of syllables and adding affixes.
         E       Errors include minuetes (minutes), oppurtunity (opportunity).




30   | Annotated scripts
Script 8 — Dear Mr John
                                                       Attempts to develop
                                                       a relationship with the
                                                       principal




                                                                Structures the problem
                                                                and solution sequence
                                                                to appeal to the reader




                                                  Uses simple, compound and
                                                  complex sentences appropriately




                                                                         Uses emotive
                                                                         vocabulary




                                                            Shows understanding
                                                            of issues that might
                                                            shape the principals’ view



                                                              Some vocabulary is not
                                                              consistent with tenor


                                                                      Sentences contain
                                                                      Sentences contain
                                                                      extending phrases



              Modulated language indicates
              the degree of obligation and certainty




                                                        Queensland Studies Authority   2011   |   31
                    Uses simple, compound and             Attempts to build a
                    complex sentences appropriately       relationship with the
                                                          principal




                                                      Uses emotive vocabulary




32   | Annotated scripts
Script 8 — Dear Mr John




                          Queensland Studies Authority   2011   |   33
     Script 9 — Dear Mrs Noonan

      Contextual factors
                 Response is planned to take account of the relationship between the writer and the recipient.
         G       Attempts to persuade the reader to her point of view.


      Text structure
                 Structures the problem and solution logically and factually to the reader. The first type ... Another
         G       type ...
                 Ideas are clustered into paragraphs.


      Grammar, vocabulary, cohesion, punctuation
                 Overuse of the same sentence structure based on “because” clauses.
         G       Vocabulary suitable to relationship – to express – and purpose serious, self-esteem.
                 Sophisticated cohesion devices (such as ellipsis: Another form of bullying is physical [bullying].


      Spelling
                 Correct spelling of multi-syllabic words – concern, mental.
         E       Words with common prefixes ... conventions for adding - teasing, depression, depending.




34   | Annotated scripts
Script 9 — Dear Mrs Noonan
 Acknowledges
 the relationship
 – word choice
                                                                              States purpose




                                                                                 Structures
                                                                                 description
                                                                                 of the problem
                                                                                 logically and
                                                                                 factually




Phrases
to extend
descriptions                                                                         Vocabulary
of ideas                                                                             appropriate
                                                                                     to purpose



                                                                              Ideas clustered
                                                                              in paragraphs


 Develops
 a strong
 personal
 voice




                        Develops the subject matter
                        from a school perspective



                                                      Queensland Studies Authority   2011   |   35
     Script 9 — Dear Mrs Noonan (Cont)




                                         Offers solution
                                         and supports
                                         with details




                                          Vocabulary
                                          chosen with
                                          precision




36   | Annotated scripts
Script 10 — Dear Mr Stoyles

 Contextual factors
            Attempts to develop a relationship with the reader.
    I       Shows an awareness of the school’s values and beliefs.
            Acknowledges the principal’s point of view.


 Text structure
            Constructs her argument justifying her position from multiple points of view.
            Ideas are tightly linked through the text – jumpers, blazers, uniform.
    I       Uses vocabulary with precision – the ways and doings, absurd. Elaborates ideas with that, ing
            clauses.


 Grammar, vocabulary, cohesion, punctuation
            Control and variety of ambitious clauses and sentence structures.
            Precise vocabulary to influence reader’s perceptions and acknowledge the social relationships with
   H        the reader.
            Tight cohesion amongst elaborated ideas.


 Spelling
            Mostly correct spelling of multi-syllable words – festive, accompanied, unaccompanied, finally,
            respectable.
   E        Errors show some difficulty with sounds at the syllable juncture –occaisions (occasions), obsurd
            (absurd), adding affixes basicaly (basically).




                                                                          Queensland Studies Authority   2011    |   37
     Script 10 — Dear Mr Stoyles




                                   Elaborates the form to
                                   communicate multiple
                                   points of view




                                                            Identifies with
                                                            the school point
       Precise                                              of view
       vocabulary


                                                            Signals the
                                                            issue
      States problem                                                Elaborates
      directly                                                      with -ing
                                                                    clause
                                                                Elaborates the
                                                                rule with a that
                                                                clause




                                                              Ideas tightly
                                                              linked through
     Re-establishes                                           text
     her understanding
     of the principal’s
     position




38   | Annotated scripts
Script 10 — Dear Mr Stoyles




                              Queensland Studies Authority   2011   |   39
     Script 10— Dear Mr Stoyles




40   | Annotated scripts
Script 11 — Dear Mr Hamiling (Brodie)

 Contextual factors


            Begins to develop a self-centred focus. Too brief to merit a D score.
            The attempt to mimic polite spoken requests shows some understanding of the tenor of the reader/
   C        writer relationship.
            There is a little planning evident. The first sentence tries to be clear about what the writer does not
            like.


 Text structure


            There is a statement of opinion with two suggested solutions. No reasons are given and the script is
   C        too brief for a D score.


 Grammar, vocabulary, cohesion, punctuation


            The order of the sentences suggests the logical relationship between them. To move beyond C, the
            student needs to use words about cause and purpose. The noun group “short drink” is typical of a C.
   C        Sentence boundaries are shown, although required question marks are not used. Incorrect full stop
            after “people”.


 Spelling


            Mostly correct spelling of single-syllable words.
   C        Errors: field (filled), Hamiling (Hamling), evrey (every), wating (waiting)




                                                                            Queensland Studies Authority     2011     |   41
     Script 11— Dear Mr Hamiling (Brodie)




42   | Annotated scripts
Script 12 — Dear School principle (Jacob)

 Contextual factors


            Opens with community values to connect with the reader and argues from general rather than self
            interest (“unsanitary condition cannot be good for the health of the students”). Makes an intellectual
            appeal to the reader by presenting evidence (“I have been noting why some students litter”) and by
            the logical ordering and elaboration of lidless bin ideas. Not awarded a J score because there is too
            little analysis of the problem (i.e. “as a result of student behaviour”) and too little justification for a
    I       focus on a bin solution.
            Uses “our beloved school” to position both writer and reader as insiders.
            Takes account of other viewpoints; e.g. does not blame the staff.
            A personal voice shows in the writing.


 Text structure


            The first paragraph develops an opinion in a context while the second elaborates a response.
   H        There is control of a logical internal structure within paragraphs. There is insufficient detail organised
            in marked paragraphs to earn an I score.


 Grammar, vocabulary, cohesion, punctuation


            The complex sentences (based on reported clauses (“I feel that”) and the conjunctions “so” and “if”)
            lack sophistication and variety but are used to some effect.
            Precise vocabulary. Noun groups (“unsanitary conditions”, “the following results”, “a remedy for
            this”, “extra wide lidless bins”) and modal and precise verb groups (“could place”, “would
   H        encourage”, “currently attending”, “definitely improve”, “could install”). There are some flaws
            (“come out with” instead of “arrived at”, “In total” instead of “In combination”, “put these ideas into
            action” instead of “put these proposals in place” or “take these actions”).
            Good cohesive links, including signposts (Lately, First, second, in total) but also the repetitions and
            pronouns around the types of bins.


 Spelling


            Affixes without change to base: unsanitory, extremely, recently, encourage.
   G        Spelling–meaning link: grateful, install, condition
            Errors: definately (definitely), principle (Principal)




                                                                            Queensland Studies Authority       2011       |   43
     Script 12 — Dear School principle (Jacob)


                                                 Attempts to develop a
                                                 relationship with the reader

       States the
       problem                                                    Precise
                                                                  vocabulary
                                                                  choice
      Supports
      with consequences
      for the community



                                                                    Develops
     Uses the noun                                                  personal
     and verb groups                                                voice
     to increase the
     lexical density

                                                               Links between
                                                               ideas are tight
                                                               and effective




                                                                 Logical and
      Uses simple                                                ordered
      compound &                                                 development
      complex                                                    of ideas
      sentences
      appropriately




        Shows awareness                            Chooses vocabulary with
        of the values and                          precision
        beliefs of own
        community




44   | Annotated scripts
Script 12 — Dear School principle (Jacob)




                                            Queensland Studies Authority   2011   |   45
     Script 13 — Ms Toffoli

      Contextual factors


                 Shows awareness of the formality of the relationship between reader and writer (“I would like to
                 express”; “As you might know”; “I would suggest”).
         G       Develops some subject matter from a school or class perspective.
                 Develops a strong personal voice – “my concern”, “I don’t like”, “we”, “some of us”


      Text structure


                 Structures the problem and solution logically and factually. In this case, the logic and coherence of
         G       the piece would have been improved by having the solutions follow the problems.
                 The paragraphs cluster similar ideas.


      Grammar, vocabulary, cohesion, punctuation


                 The problems with this student’s writing indicate the student’s aspirations to more sophisticated
                 grammar. The errors indicate that the teaching focus for a student at the F level might apply.
                 The student correctly attempts formal grammar and succeeds with some extending phrases: “One
                 way of fixing this”, “allowed to spend money on that day and that day only”. The formal vocabulary
                 (express, concern, encourages) is not sustained.
                 There are problems with mood (sentences that are half statement and half command, “people are
         F       only allowed” instead of “people should be allowed”) and mode (“encourages” instead of “would
                 encourage”) and nominalisation (“get a punishment” instead of “be punished”; “to not allow
                 sharing” instead of “to prohibit and punish sharing”) and tense (“they have got” instead of “they will
                 have”).
                 The student habitually leaves off the pluralising s where it is needed. Cohesion suffers from poor
                 pronoun referencing and from the effect of the problems discussed above.
                 Most punctuation is correct and helpful.


      Spelling


                 On the cusp of a score of E and F. Shows an understanding of adding affixes: punishment,
                 encourages, sharing, sincerely. Correct homophone: allowed. Correct spelling of multisyllable words:
         F       concern, problem, express. Correct contraction: shouldn’t, don’t.
                 Errors: jounoir (junior); common homophone: there (their);




46   | Annotated scripts
Script 13 — Ms Toffoli




                         Queensland Studies Authority   2011   |   47
     Script 13 — Ms Toffoli




48   | Annotated scripts
Script 13 — Ms Toffoli




                         Queensland Studies Authority   2011   |   49
     Script 14 — I don’t like traffic

      Contextual factors


                 A little planning is evident in stating the problem, with supporting details then the solution, with a
                 reason.
         D       A self-centred view (“I don’t like the traffic”; “I don’t like being pushed”). The writer seems to be
                 talking to himself rather than to a reader but this is modified by a small acknowledgment of the
                 reader in the phrase “I suggest” and the pronoun “we”.


      Text structure


                 Implies a reason for his dislike of the staircase. Also implies (despite the lack of a causal sentence
                 with a conjunction) that the problem is caused by the narrowness of the stairs rather than the “traffic
                 of people” itself. Attempts to show details of inconvenience and of how to fix the problem (i.e. acting
         D       during the holidays when, by implication, the stairs will not be in use).
                 If the student was aware of the need to make overt these implied ideas and if he had the grammatical
                 knowledge to state them, then this script could jump to a much higher score.


      Grammar, vocabulary, cohesion, punctuation


                 Contains three oral-based complex sentences, the first two with similar structure, the third with a
                 causal clause but with missing verb and missing plural, i.e. while “time delay” is a good
                 nominalisation, it needed the verb cause (“cause time delays” should have been used).
         C       Precise use of “traffic of people” , “disturb classes”, “wider stair[s]”. Other vocabulary is idiomatic
                 and plain.
                 Too brief to give more evidence than score C.
                 All sentence boundaries are punctuated.


      Spelling


                 Correct spelling of one-syllable words (like), common words (people) and some two-syllable words
                 (traffic, suggest).
         D       Errors show that knowledge about the internal patterns of words is not yet mastered: e.g. biuld
                 (build), shaved (shoved), wighter (wider), distube (disturb) classies (classes).




50   | Annotated scripts
Script 14 — I don’t like traffic




                                   Queensland Studies Authority   2011   |   51
     Script 15 — Dear Mr Harrison (Ben)

      Contextual factors


                 A planned, sequenced response to task demands. Provides brief reasons and proposes actions
                 relevant to his problems. Demonstrates awareness of the power relationship with the principal: e.g.
         F       “I would like”, “If you could”. Although the ultimatum and demanding tone of the final sentences
                 misjudges the relationship, they are intended to engage the reader.


      Text structure


                 Very brief introduction that implies an opinion by the way it states the problems. Includes brief
         F       concluding gestures. The first two paragraphs are structured as a description followed by a proposed
                 action. The third paragraph is really part of the second. The final paragraph is a call to action.


      Grammar, vocabulary, cohesion, punctuation


                 Basic complex sentences (“The first is that ...”; “If you can ...”).
                 Uses modal verbs (“If you could trade”) to signal an obligation to act on his suggestions. One
                 thinking verb (“choose”). Overuses “If” as a polite way to make a request (i.e. uses “if you could ...”
         F       to mean Could you please so that ...)
                 Unsophisticated but adequate linkages between ideas.
                 Mostly correct sentence punctuation.


      Spelling


                 Shows an understanding of the internal patterns of words (unicycles, bullies, second, during).
         D       Errors in vowel patterns and other lapses: brake (break), ovel (oval), dont (don’t), cant (can’t)




52   | Annotated scripts
Script 15 — Dear Mr Harrison (Ben)




                                     Queensland Studies Authority   2011   |   53
     Script 16 — We need grass in our school

      Contextual factors


                 Attempts to bring the reader into a shared experience. Tries to invoke shared values but fails to
         E       appeal to an identified reader or to show how writing about the problem will serve the purpose.
                 Some details are not integrated, e.g. the mud inthe church is unexplained for the reader.


      Text structure


                 Identifies the problem and makes clear statements in favour of grass. Little effective elaboration of
         E       these steps in the argument. The final paragraph fails to shape the text.


      Grammar, vocabulary, cohesion, punctuation


                 The first two sentences show the student is at the stage of experimenting with elaborated simple
                 sentences and basic complex sentences. The second and third paragraph consists of an immature or
                 uncontrolled sentence structure linked with ands. The writer falls back into simple indicative
                 sentences (“We can improve”, “This situation will”) where qualified modal verbs should have been
                 used (We would be able to, The situation could be).
         E       The student tries to use emotive and formal vocabulary (“outrageous”, “spectacular”, “current
                 discussion”).
                 Cohesion is poor. The writer assumes the reader knows the relation between grass in the school,
                 mud in the church and gravel. The student misuses connectives (e.g. “more spectacular as” should
                 be “than”).


      Spelling


                 Good grasp of spelling/meaning patterns and affixes: discussion, situation, outrageous, spectacular
         G       Errors: maney (many), occure (occur), principle (Principal)




54   | Annotated scripts
Script 16 — We need grass in our school




                                          Queensland Studies Authority   2011   |   55
     Script 17 — The principal (Sean)

      Contextual factors


                 Response to the task shows some planning and sequencing. Selects ideas related to the task, but
                 some are not well integrated. The writer understands the task as requiring emotional words, so he
         D       imitates the words of an angry parent. There is no cogent construction of the reader and writer roles
                 or of what the letter is trying to achieve.


      Text structure


                 Mostly the script repeats the same idea. The statement of opinion and the response is repeated with
         D       arbitrary details added. Concluding statement repeats these ideas in another way.


      Grammar, vocabulary, cohesion, punctuation


                 Many simple sentences. Some simple cause relationships (that’s why; because he got hurt by a
                 bully). Overuse of and and because to link clauses. Many grammatical errors, especially of verb
                 tense.
         D
                 Simple vocabulary. Missing and misused words create gaps in cohesion.
                 Little punctuation; sentence boundaries not marked.


      Spelling


                 Correct spelling of simple single-syllable words (stop, hurt); common words (children, talk, every),
                 long vowel patterns (need).
         C       Incorrect spelling gives clear evidence of difficulty with adding inflected endings: aloud (allowed),
                 find (finds), anger (angry), angering (angry), one’s (once), bully’s (bullies).




56   | Annotated scripts
Script 17 — The principal (Sean)




                                   Queensland Studies Authority   2011   |   57
     Script 17 — The principal (Sean)




58   | Annotated scripts
Script 18 — Dear principal ( A concerned student)

 Contextual factors


            Uses the wider values of the school and “community” to base their opinion. Formal expression is
            used
   H        (rather too stuffily), to adopt a respectable persona to gain credibility. Logical structure of the final
            sentence is calculated to persuade the reader.


 Text structure



   G        Introduction is rather too brief and the elaboration too unsustained for a higher score.



 Grammar, vocabulary, cohesion, punctuation


            Evidence of more sophisticated complex sentences.
            “Punish” is overused and “amount” misused (where “number” is needed.)
   G        Tight lexical cohesion during jump from the statement of personal experience to the statements
            about the problem and solution.
            Controls punctuation of complex sentence boundaries.


 Spelling


            Errors (writting, disrespectfull) give evidence that the writer has not mastered the syllable juncture
   E        stage.




                                                                            Queensland Studies Authority        2011    |   59
     Script 18 — Dear principal (A concerned student)l

                                               Response shows awareness
                                               of the formality of the relationship
                                               between reader and writer
                                                                     Opening statement




                                                                            Develops an overt
                                                                            personal voice




 Uses compound                                                      Statement of problem
 and complex
 sentences
 effectively
                                                                              Reason

                                                         Attempts to develop subject matter
                                                         from a school perspective




Clustering of ideas
into paragraphs                                                              Logical but
                                                                             basic development
                                                                             of the solution




Vocabulary
precise but?


                                                Concluding statement to the reader




60   | Annotated scripts
Script 19 — Dear Principal (Michael)

 Contextual factors


            Shows an awareness of the formality of the relationships between the reader and the writer in this
            context. This earns a score above F, despite the flaws in planning the writer role. The writer switches
   G        from the first person (“I have written”) to the third person (“We also advise”). The reader is left to
            wonder if the writer is a school administration officer, an individual student, a student representative
            or a local council officer.


 Text structure



   F        Structures the problem and solution sequence logically and factually. Lacks elaboration.



 Grammar, vocabulary, cohesion, punctuation


            Extending phrases , e.g. “a growing concern about our water fountains”.
            Causal and defining links in subordinate clauses, e.g. “because people are clogging them”, “caught
            vandalising school property”.
            Brief evidence and some uncertain and unnecessary mixing of tenses (e.g. “people are clogging”
   G        instead of people clog), but a G score is awarded because the student is attempting to use grammar
            to control the formal tenor of the reader–writer relationship.
            Chooses words sensitive to the relationship – “I hope you consider our advice”.
            Cohesion: There is confusion over the pronouns we and I.


 Spelling


            Correct spelling of multisyllable words: fountains, property
   E        Correct spelling of words with simple affixes: complaining, punishments, constantly
            Errors: concider (consider), advise (advice), sinserly (sincerely), vanderlising (vandalising)




                                                                           Queensland Studies Authority      2011      |   61
     Script 19 — Dear Principal (Michael)




62   | Annotated scripts
Script 20 — Dear Mr Williams

 Contextual factors


            Appeals to the intended reader intellectually and emotionally. Uses anecdote to help to define and
            explain.
            Argues for a change that the Principal will care about and is able to act upon. Speaks from personal
            experience but reminds the reader that the problem affects students generally. Maintains politeness
    I       towards the Principal by acknowledging the difficulty of the problem, conceding weakness in his own
            argument (the first lock was not the school’s concern) and refrains from overstatement (e.g. “several
            other classmates and many other pupils”) but asserts his personality to make clear the strength of
            his feelings about the issue.


 Text structure


            The text is extended enough to explore two major aspects of the same topic.
            The student avoids a schematic statement of opinion as an introduction. Instead, he establishes the
   H        topic then gives a statement of fact (“$54 spent on locks”) that leads straight into the argument. The
            division between the first and second sections is clear. The final sentence is too brief. Paragraphing
            is crude and minimal.


 Grammar, vocabulary, cohesion, punctuation


            Grammar: Uses varied sentence structures including one -ing clause (“without using a fair bit of
            money”), but with awkwardness that would not be evident in H scripts. Some good use of complex
            tenses (“could have easily been”; “I would ask that the lockers be caged”; “pupils have had their
            locks stolen”).
            Vocabulary: Uses qualifying adjectives and formal nouns to suit the relationship to the reader
            (“soiree”, “entire central hallway”). Uses imagery to suggest the real distress caused by the
   G        apparently minor problem (“I have been battered and beaten by lockers, books, bags etc.”). There is
            an example of poor idiomatic usage (“on account of”).
            Cohesion: Overuses “lock” and shows some poor control of pronouns (“If it is possible for you, I have
            a suggestion”). Displays one sophisticated passage: “another issue ... which also concerns the
            lockers. Space. There is simply not enough space”).
            Punctuation: Sentence, clause and noun punctuation mostly correct.


 Spelling


            Knows syllable patterns and common affixed words, e.g. easily, account, concern, roughly,
   F        suggestion. However, errors indicate this knowledge is not perfected, e.g. brocken (broken),
            inadequete (inadequate), seperated (separated), of (off)




                                                                         Queensland Studies Authority      2011      |   63
     Script 20 — Dear Mr Williams




                                      States purpose
                                      for writing


                                    States problem



                                      Justifies the
                                      problem from
                                      his perspective




                                       Attempts to
                                       engage the
                                       reader by
                                       includiing
                                       thoughts and
                                       actions




64   | Annotated scripts
 Script 20 — Dear Mr Williams




                                                          Problem




                                                          Aware of the
                                                          relationship
                                                          - clause

Solution




                                Queensland Studies Authority   2011   |   65
     Blank response form

     Script Name:

      Contextual factors




      Text structure




      Grammar, vocabulary, cohesion, punctuation




      Spelling




66   | Annotated scripts
Section 4 – Grammar notes
Grammar describes how the inflection (varied form) of words and the order of words contribute to meaning. In the
model below, initial decisions about grammar are made at the cultural and situational levels. For instance,
opinions are usually written in present tense whereas letters to the editor usually require formal expression. The
following pages highlight grammatical decisions made at the levels of words and sentences.




                                                                         Queensland Studies Authority     2011       |   67
     Level of words and word groups
     Words sit at the “bottom” of this model of writing. There are two classes of words. Open word classes describe
     objects and concepts. Closed word classes, sometimes called grammatical word classes, provide structure in the
     language.

      Open word classes — objects and concepts
                       Nouns are used to name or label objects, people, places, concepts and feelings. A noun
                       answers the questions “What?” or “Who?”
                       There are common nouns — cat, wombat, thought — and proper nouns — Sally, Brisbane,
                       Queensland, Friday. Proper nouns are capitalised.
                       Like other forms of vocabulary, nouns can denote the literal meaning of a word and also
      Nouns            provide connotations of emotions and feelings associated with it — leave/abandon; thrifty/
                       stingy. Understanding this distinction is important to the development of students’ writing.
                       Nominalisation is the formation of nouns from other words or phrases. The saving of water is
                       urgent. Like any noun, this nominalised phrase can be introduced by the article “the”. In
                       writing, nominalisation is a technique for expressing more abstract ideas and arguments. It
                       can cloak the writer’s voice to represent opinion as fact.

                       Writers pack noun groups to increase the amount or precision of detail. The ability to construct
                       such groups deliberately and consciously is a measure of a student’s growing control of
                       writing.
      Noun groups      A noun group can be a single noun or pronoun or can be expanded to include adjectives or
                       adjectival phrases before or after the noun.
                       • front door knob
                       • a long wailing note from Brian’s violin.
                       Verbs provide the dynamism in sentences or clauses by giving a sense of something
                       happening. They show processes such as:
                       • action or doing — hop, drive, promote, design
      Verbs
                       • thinking and feeling — plot, know, believe
                       • saying — say, cry, yell, roar, thunder
                       • being and having — is, was, are, has, have
                       Verbs are changed in form to signal how or when they work. This is called inflection because it
                       is usually accompanied by a raised tone in spoken language.
                       Number
                       The verb must “agree” with the subject of the clause, meaning that, for example, a plural
                       subject must have a plural verb — The boys are brave. (Not boy are or boys is.) The band of
                       wolves is waiting for the caribou. (Not band of wolves are ...)

                       Tense and modality
                       Verbs can be inflected to show when something occurred (present, future, or past).
                          She likes (liked, will like) walking her dog.
                       Because “walking” is a non-finite verb, it does not have a time inflection.
                       In the example above, the future tense must be formed by adding another verb, “will”, as an
                       auxiliary to the main verb, “like”. There are auxiliaries of being — do, have, be — and the
                       modal auxiliaries — can, could, may, might, must, shall, should, ought, will, would.
                       By attaching one of the modal auxiliaries to a verb, a writer can give information about the
                       degree of certainty, probability or obligation that attaches to a stated act.
                          Dinosaurs may have lived here. I have to care for my sister.




68   | Grammar notes
Open word classes — objects and concepts
                The construction of tense and modality can be quite complex. For example,
                   He had been going to be taking part in the attack on the fort.
                   She would have liked to have gone with them.
                In these two examples, the verb construction is present, in future, in past. Control over these
                structures is critical in narrative writing, particularly in using literary devices such as
                flashbacks. Expository writing may also require complex tenses, such as: We were supposed to
                have had a new park a year ago.

                Verb groups can also be formed by adding to the main verb the auxiliary verbs mentioned
                above as well as
                • prepositions — He woke up.
Verb groups     • adverbs — He was fighting off the flu.
                • negatives — Mary would not go home.
                Elaborated phrases that function as a single verb help to make writing precise but with shades
                of additional meaning. Noun groups also achieve this function.

                Verb forms determine whether a sentence is written in the active or passive voice
                 voice                sentence order                     example                effect

                active            subject + verb + object           People make          focus on the agent
Active and                                                          history.             of an activity
passive voice
                passive object + auxiliary (being verb) + verb + History is made         focus on the thing
                               preposition (by) + subject        by people.              affected



                Adjectives provide information about a noun. They are usually used within a noun group —
                exciting, new book — but can be used after a verb — She is pretty.
                Adjectives can:
                • describe — beautiful child
Adjectives      • show number or quantify — two elephants
                • specify or point — this newspaper
                • indicate possession — Mary’s hat
                • compare — biggest diamond
                • classify — chemical formulae.
                Adverbs provide additional information about what is happening in the text. For example, they
                provide information about an action’s
                • manner of performance (how) — ran speedily
Adverbs         • time of occurrence — came eventually
                • place of occurrence — born locally.
                They can give emphasis or intensify, provide indications of attitude and extent or limit the
                action. She sang happily. She sang very happily. The tenor sang briefly.




                                                                       Queensland Studies Authority      2011     |   69
      Closed word classes
      These are a restricted group of words that act as structural markers in the text. They show the logical
      relations between the ideas and also indicate the weighting of ideas.

                           The definite article the indicates which particular thing is being referred to —The dog next
                           door.
      Articles
                           The indefinite article a (or an) indicates general nonspecific membership of a class — A
                           pig raided the cabbage patch.

                           Conjunctions show the relation between ideas in two parts of a sentence: one part of a
                           sentence is coordinate with the other or else one part is subordinate to the other.
                           The coordinating conjunctions (for, and, nor, but, or, yet, so) show relationships between
                           two ideas of equal importance. I want to go but I can’t.
                           Subordinating conjunctions introduce and signal the function of a subordinate clause
                           (just as prepositions do of phrases).
                           These include relations of:
                           • place — where the road bends
                           • manner — as we did before
      Conjunctions
                           • subsequent action — since, after
                           • earlier action — before, once, until
                           • concurrent action — whenever, as, while
                           • reason — because
                           • condition — if, unless, in case, that, unless
                           • alternative — either ... or
                           • concession — although, despite, while, even if, (and) yet.
                           Precise conjunctions allow writers to specify precise relations between ideas. Even the
                           conjunction and can be used precisely.

                           Prepositions introduce nouns or phrases to link them to other parts of the sentence and
                           signal the function of the phrase. They locate nouns or phrases in
                           time or place — on fire, at the beach, in the swampy field, throughout the text
      Prepositions
                           spatial relation — above water, under the influence, next to useless, inside the apple
                           direction — to, on, in, into, onto etc.
                           manner — despite all appearances.

                           Pronouns allow repeated reference to a concept without repeating a noun. My cat [noun] is
                           white. Its [possessive pronoun] mother is black.
                           Some examples:
      Pronouns             personal — I, me, you, they, he, she, it, we, us
      (see also cohesion   possessive — our(s), my, mine, your(s), her(s), his, their(s), its
      below)               reflexive — yourself, ourselves
                           demonstrative — those, these, this
                           indefinite — each, all, any, some
                           interrogative — whose, which, what, whom.




70   | Grammar notes
Level of clauses and sentences
Moving “upwards” within the model of writing, we reach clauses. Clauses are the smallest structures that can
contain a unified proposition.

                  Unlike phrases or other grammatically connected groups of words, clauses contain a verb and
                  its object. In addition, independent clauses contain a subject. Independent clauses can stand
                  alone but in complex sentences they form the main clause.
 Clauses
                  phrase — to the beach (preposition + noun group)
                  independent clause — I run to the beach (subject + verb + object)
                  subordinate clause — when I run to the beach (conjunction + subject+ verb + object phrase)

                  A coordinated clause is a sentence capable of standing by itself but joined to another stand-
                  alone clause by a conjunction (and, or, but, not only … but also etc.).
                     Greer wants to go skiing at Mt Buffalo and then [Greer/she] wants to go to
                     Sovereign Hill.
 Coordinated
                     I love chocolate but [I] don’t really like lollies.
 clauses
                  Two or more coordinated clauses joined with a conjunction construct a compound sentence.
                  Compound sentences join together propositions that have equal ranking or status. Only the
                  sequence in these sentences suggests the order in which a reader should attend to the
                  meaning.

                   A subordinate clause is a fragment of a sentence that provides extra information related to
                  that given in a main or independent clause.
                     They became lost [main] when they missed the turn [subordinate].
                  Subordinate clauses can give information about the participants within a main clause.
                     Girls who are too concerned about body image can develop anorexia.
 Subordinate
 clauses          In indirect speech, subordinate clauses can give information projected by a participant within
                  the clause.
                     My friend said that he wouldn’t be home that early.
                  A complex sentence is formed when one main clause is joined by a subordinating conjunction
                  to one or more subordinate clauses. Complex sentences contain clauses of unequal ranking or
                  status.

                  Sentences are either a single clause or a combination of clauses. As mood structures, they
                  provide information about the writer’s relationship with an audience and the way information
                  is to be regarded.
                  When an independent clause is allowed to stand alone, it forms a simple sentence with a
                  subject (Mary) a verb (goes) and an object (off to the shop). Some simple sentences can
                  become quite elaborate, e.g.
                     Papua New Guinea [subject] has [verb] a large number of active volcanoes. [object].
                  The order of sentence elements given in this example is the usual one: subject, verb, object.
 Sentences        By changing the order, different emphases can be created. (E.g. Off to the shop goes Mary.)
                  Sentences can take different forms:
                  declaratives — used to make statements
                  interrogatives — used to ask questions
                  imperatives — used to give orders
                  exclamations — used to express strong emotion, usually of surprise or disgust.
                  These forms indicate the mood or power relationships between the writer and the intended
                  audience. Students need to develop control over a repertoire of sentence forms to manage
                  their stance and their audience appeal.




                                                                           Queensland Studies Authority    2011    |   71
                        This term refers to the ordering of information within a clause. The theme of a clause is most
                        often the subject of the clause and, in declarative sentences (sentences that make statements)
                        it is often the participant in the stated event:
                           Allan was hit by the bus.
                        The theme is usually placed at the beginning of the clause. It highlights to the reader the most
      Theme/rheme       significant component of the clause. However, other components of the clause can be in
                        theme position:
                           Around the corner came the speeding bus that hit Allan.
                        Where the subject is not the theme, there is a level of increased emphasis given to the idea
                        presented as theme.
                        The patterns with which the theme and rheme of clauses link, adds to the cohesion.

     Level of paragraph or proposition
     Paragraphs are used to group the major ideas or propositions within a text. This organizes the ideas, thus helping
     readers to recognise the significant ideas and make associations between them. Paragraphs are also used to mark
     shifts in the flow of the text.
     Properly constructed, a paragraph leaves the reader in no doubt about how it links to what comes before and after
     it. This might require connective words or phrases (see next page).
     A paragraph has a topic sentence that indicates the substance of the paragraph. A topic sentence can be a
     summary of the ideas that appear in the paragraph or a super-ordinate idea or generalised statement that is
     exemplified or elaborated in the paragraph. Generally, the topic sentence appears at the beginning of the
     paragraph, but it need not necessarily do so.

     Level of text
     Moving up to the overall text level, there are a number of different devices that are used to organise and link the
     ideas in the text.




72   | Grammar notes
Cohesion
Cohesion is used to describe the devices that help move a reader through the text. Cohesion works in two major
ways. One is called grammatical cohesion. This works largely through the use of the structural words that
constitute the closed word classes which refer readers backwards and forwards through the text..

                       These connect all the ideas associated with a basic noun. They either connect with a noun
                       that has already been introduced or they can be introduced before the noun to which they
                       refer. Skilled writers are able to use pronouns that are not defined in the text but which
                       are defined by strong inferred connections to commonly held knowledge.
 Pronouns
                       Where multiple or long pronoun strings are introduced, the noun-pronoun reference
                       needs to be re-established at the beginning of each paragraph. Where the distance
                       between the referent and the pronoun is too great or where a reader may become
                       confused by multiple pronoun strings, the pronoun needs to be redefined.

                       Whereas conjunctions link two parts of a sentence together, connectives link two
 Connectives
                       sentences or two paragraphs together. Connectives show relations of:
                       • time
                          – subsequent action — since then, after that, next, finally, as soon as, soon afterward
                          – prior action — at first, until then, earlier
                          – concurrent action — at the same time, meanwhile
                       • cause
                          – result — as a result, therefore, consequently
                          – reason — because of, so that, due to
                          – inference — otherwise, in that case, then
                          – condition — granted that, considering how, now that, as long as
                       • addition
                          – equality — and, moreover, besides, furthermore, similarly
                          – restatement — indeed, actually, namely, that is
                          – example — for example, first, second, third, next, then, finally
                          – summation — thus, overall, therefore, in conclusion, in short, in fact
                       • contrast
                          – antithesis — but, yet, rather, on the other hand
                          – alternative — alternatively, however, rather than
                          – comparison — in comparison, in contrast, likewise
                          – concession — though, however, anyhow, in any case, despite that.

The second way in which cohesion is developed is through the association between ideas. This is often referred to
as lexical cohesion. These word associations are created by:
• repetition — Algy met a bear. The bear was bulgy.
• synonyms — The dragon was a coward, and she called him Custard.
• antonyms — The wolf was happy, which gave the pig every reason to be sad.
• associations of words around the same subject — As the jockey travelled to the racecourse, he wondered about
    his new mount. It was a stablemate of his last ride but was it a stallion or a mare? It would need the speed of
    Pegasus to win this race.
    This is the weakest form of cohesion. Used alone or as the dominant method of cohesion, it forces a reader to
    read and clarify using their own background knowledge. This can lead to ambiguous or confused understanding
    on the part of a reader.
• taxonomies such as part to whole — Custard the dragon had big sharp teeth,
    And spikes on top of him and scales underneath.
    And class to subclass — A well known amphibian is the green frog.
Stronger and unambiguous links between ideas and clear referencing between ideas will make the text more
coherent and thus readable.




                                                                          Queensland Studies Authority     2011       |   73
     Notes on punctuation
     Punctuation is part of the orthographic code through which language is created on a page. It marks out the
     semantic boundaries between ideas and the function of particular words.

                        Capitals are required for:
                        • proper nouns — Sally, Brisbane
                        • proper adjectives — a Chinese restaurant
      Capital letters
                        • beginnings of sentences
                        • titles — The Courier-Mail.
                        Capital letters can also be used to give emphasis to the writing — “NO!” he screamed.

                        A full stop is required at the end of a declarative or imperative sentence. A question mark
                        follows an interrogative sentence. An exclamation mark follows an exclamatory sentence.
                        • The crocodile chased the boys. (declarative)
                        • Don’t touch that book. (imperative)
      End marks         • How are you going to get to the other side? (interrogative)
                        • This piece of writing is GREAT! (exclamative)
                        As students develop their understanding of sentences, particularly when they start to build
                        elaborated or sophisticated clause complexes, they may for a short time lose their sense of
                        where the sentence boundaries are.

                        Apostrophes should be used to show:
                        • possessive singular nouns — sister’s hat
                        • possessive plural nouns — students’ bags.
      Apostrophes
                           Plural nouns that do not end in s are punctuated in the same way as singular nouns —
                           children’s
                        • the letters left out of a contraction — isn’t (is not).
                        Commas tell the reader to pause between words and thus to keep ideas separate. They can be
                        used to:
                        • separate the simple sentences in compound sentences — Some students were having
                           lunch, but others were playing.
                        • separate an initial subordinate clause from the main clause: After studying hard, I retired.
      Commas
                        • separate ideas in a list — Apples, peaches, apricots and grapes are grown in Stanthorpe.
                        • mark out a noun or noun phrase in apposition — Napoleon, Emperor of France,
                           institutionalised many of the reforms from the French revolution.
                        • separate introductory words such as Well, … Yes, …, So, … from the remainder of the
                           clause.

                        These are used where a strong pause is needed but where the ideas are still strongly related
                        and form part of the same sentence — A burning twig snapped in the stove; the kettle hummed
                        in an undertone.
      Semicolons
                        They can also be used in sentences that are constructed as a list — Multi-coloured umbrellas
                        were going up – tilting at the sun; beach towels were being spread out; children were running
                        everywhere.

                        Colons introduce a list or a quotation. They are also used where an author wants to clarify or
                        expand on an idea — He turned his horse and headed for home, tearing at breakneck speed
                        down the narrow road: the very road he had just travelled. (clarification) Her mother entered
      Colons            the room and was struck by an overwhelming feeling of loneliness: something to do with the
                        book. (elaboration)
                        Colons are often replaced by a dash: And the murderer was still there — in this very room,
                        creeping towards him in the dark.




74   | Grammar notes
             Ellipsis marks are used to:
Marks of
elision      • show where words have been omitted from an expression or thought
(ellipsis)   • increase suspense or a sense of mystery — He stopped short, suddenly realising
                something … There were no taps in there.

             These are used to indicate:
Quotation
marks        • the names of short works or parts of a whole work. Titles of large, self-contained works are
                normally underlined/italicised, but quotation marks may be used too.
             • boundaries of quotations taken from other sources
             • the speaker’s exact words in direct speech — “Where”, asked the tourist, “is the turn-off to
                the Black Stump?”
             The punctuation marks relating to the words quoted belong inside the quotation marks.
             Direct speech and “paragraphing” — When a new speaker begins, the convention is to begin a
             new line. Knowledge of this convention does not mean that a student knows how to construct
             proper paragraphs with an internal structure.




                                                                   Queensland Studies Authority     2011      |   75
     Section 5 – Glossary
     This glossary is provided to clarify the terms used on the marking grids.

                               These are prefixes where the spelling of the consonant in the prefix has been altered so
      Absorbed prefixes        that it is assimilated or absorbed into the spelling of the sound at the beginning of the
                               base word e.g. ad+tract = attract, in+legal = illegal.

                               This is the change of form that words undergo to mark distinctions of number, person,
      Inflection
                               active/passive verb form and tense.

                               Reference is the relation of a word to what it describes. Nouns refer to things/persons,
                               verbs to processes/actions, adjectives to qualities/properties of things and adverbs to
                               qualities/properties of actions. Controlled reference is vital to communication.
      Pronoun reference        The ability to make pronoun references is an important stage of growth. Pronouns can
                               be referenced to nouns or noun groups that come before or after the pronoun. The
                               referent can also be outside the text. Writers need to develop their awareness of how
                               long the distance between the pronoun and its referent can be as well as how and
                               when to redefine the referent when multiple pronoun strings appear in the text.

                               A sentence is a unit of meaning. At its simplest, it is made up of one or more noun and
                               verb groups. A simple sentence has a subject, verb and predicate. Compound
                               sentences consist of at least two main clauses coordinated by and, or, for, but, nor, so
      Sentence
                               and yet. A complex sentence has one main clause and at least one subordinate clause.
                               Markers should attend to the variety and the complexity of sentence forms used in a
                               script.

                               Pre-phonemic stage of spelling development
      Spelling                 This is the first stage of students’ learning to spell. It marks the emergence of an
      (Bear & Templeton)       understanding of our orthographic system. During this stage, children write by using
                               strings of letters, letter-like symbols and/or numbers to represent words.

                               Semi-phonemic stage of spelling development
                               This is the second stage of spelling development in which students show their
                               awareness that letters are used to represent the sounds of language. In this stage
                               students may represent the sounds that seem most dominant to them, e.g. BD (bed).
                               Correct order of sounds may not be a feature of the spelling in this stage.

                               Letter-name or alphabetic stage of spelling
                               This is a stage of development that marks the beginning of conventional spelling.
                               Letter–name spellers spell in a linear, sound-by-sound way, writing down the sounds
                               they hear. In its earliest stages, this may mean they write only the first and last sounds,
                               BAK (bake). By the middle of this stage students put a vowel in most syllables, BAKR
                               (baker), and by the end of it they represent the dominant sounds they hear, CORT
                               (caught). Also by the end of this stage, they can map the sounds in short vowel words
                               of the type consonant-vowel-consonant (CVC). An indication of students’ ability to
                               move to the next level is their ability to spell words with nasal consonants like jump or
                               bunch.




76   | Glossary
                   Syllable juncture stage of spelling
                   The earliest task at this stage is to understand consonant doubling.Toward the middle
                   of this stage of development, students focus on the conventions and affixes for turning
                   verbs into nouns. At the same time, teachers will engage with common prefixes and the
                   construction of plurals.
                   Students also examine the stress patterns within words, e.g. how a change in stress in
                   words like con’tract/contract; re’cord/record changes the syntactic and semantic
                   functions of the words. This is the beginning of understanding the spelling–meaning
                   connection in spelling.

                   Within–word pattern stage of spelling
                   As the name suggests, students spelling at this level pay closer attention to the vowels
                   within syllables. They begin to examine the long vowel patterns within words. This
                   improves efficiency in both reading and writing. In the early stages students may
                   choose a possible but incorrect spelling of a long vowel pattern — leeve (leave). By the
                   middle stages, students can spell words with common long-vowel patterns correctly —
                   same, hope (CVCe); train, peel, coat (CVVC); hay, tea, toe (CVV).
                   In the latter stages, students begin to focus on the spelling of long vowel patterns in
                   multi-syllable words.
                   Derivational pattern stage of spelling
                   In this stage, orthographic knowledge is focused on how words share common
                   derivations. Spellers learn that the meaning and spelling of word parts remain
                   constant across different words. Students begin to examine common prefixes and
                   suffixes. They study the meaning of root and base words as well as the classical origins
                   of the derivational morphology.
                   During this stage of development, students learn how such patterns as vowel and
                   consonant alternation make the spelling of words predictable.

                   These are units of spoken language that consist of a vowel sound with one or more
Syllables          consonant sounds preceding or following it. Markers should attend especially to the
                   spelling at syllable junctions.

                   Although we talk about the tenor of an argument as being its trend or tendency, the
                   word tenor is also used to refer to the attitude of the writer to the reader. It is close in
Tenor and tone
                   meaning to tone, which usually refers narrowly to the degree of formality of an
                   utterance.

                   This is a distinction of form in a verb that locates an action in time relative to the “here
                   and now” of the speaker. Markers should note the students’ ability to maintain
Tense              consistent past or present tense, especially where they use more ambitious sentence
                   forms. Inappropriately informal writing sometimes drifts into a present tense
                   associated with oral recounts.

                   Voice is the personality of the writer coming out on the page. It is a quality that gives
                   writing its flavour and sense of uniqueness. At its best, voice gives readers the feeling
                   that an author is communicating directly with them. A strong sense of voice becomes
(Personal) Voice   apparent when a writer writes with honesty and conviction.
                   This notion is unrelated to grammatical voice, which refers to the active and passive
                   ways to construct sentences.




                                                                      Queensland Studies Authority       2011     |   77
Queensland Studies Authority
154 Melbourne Street, South Brisbane
PO Box 307 Spring Hill
QLD 4004 Australia
T +61 7 3864 0299
F +61 7 3221 2553
www.qsa.qld.edu.au

								
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