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									What do you need to know to do well on the FCAT
            Writing Essay Section?
    What do you need to do to score a 4.0 or higher?




1) Read the entire prompt until you understand what
   you are to write on.

2) Use the planning sheet to make a quick list of ideas.

3) Choose your two best ideas and determine how you
   can fully elaborate each idea.
What is elaboration?




Elaboration is the explaining of an idea so completely
that your reader doesn’t have any further questions.

You can elaborate by using facts, ideas, statistics,
details, expert testimony, anecdotes (stories), examples,
dialogue, reasons, opinions, observations, predictions,
and description (show not tell by using sensory images).
What is the “key” to elaboration?




• An elaboration starts off with a statement, and then you
have to build on that statement.

For instance, let’s say that you make a statement such as
this:
       Extra-curricular activities are important for most
       students.

Now you have to explain more about this statement.
Next step . . . start building




Extra-curricular activities are important for most
students. Extra-curricular activities include sports,
clubs, and musical groups.
                             or
Extra-curricular activities are important for most
students. Many students use extra-curricular
activities such as clubs to escape the pressure of
demanding, academic classes.
Next step . . . continue building. Think of it as links of a
chain--each joined to the link before it.

Extra-curricular activities are important for most
students. Extra-curricular activities include sports,
clubs, and musical groups. Playing sports is the
most important extra-curricular activity at my school.
In fact, 39% of all the students at Mayberry High
School play a sport. My best friend Barry plays
three sports--football, soccer, and baseball. Barry
always says, “One of these sports is going to pay
my way through college.Thus, for many students,
including Barry, extra-curricular activities can be
financially helpful.
Sentence-by-sentence dissection


[Topic sentence] Extra-curricular activities are important
for most students. [Adding a detail] Extra-curricular
activities include sports, clubs, and musical groups.
[Opinion] Playing sports is the most important extra-curricular
activity at my school. [Statistic] In fact, 39% of all the
students at Mayberry High School play a sport.
[Example] My best friend Barry plays three sports--
football, soccer, and baseball. [Expert testimony] Barry
always says, “One of these sports is going to pay my
way through college. [Concluding sentence] Thus, for
many students, including Barry, extra-curricular activities
can be financially helpful.
Remember that in an elaborated idea, each sentence builds
on (links to) the previous sentence.

Extra-curricular activities are important for most students.
Extra-curricular activities include sports, clubs, and
musical groups. Sports is the most important extra-curricular
activity at my school. In fact, 39% of all the students at
Mayberry High School play a sport. My best friend Barry
plays three sports--football, soccer, and baseball. Barry
always says, “One of these sports is going to pay my
way through college. Thus, for many students, including
Barry, extra-curricular activities can be financially helpful.
Remember, to score the 4.0 and higher, you need

• two full elaborations (the MOST important requirement)
• good use of vocabulary (use generous, not nice or good)
• correct punctuation
• common words spelled correctly (there, their, they’re, etc.)
• an introduction (get the reader’s attention, let the
reader know the subject and make sure your position on
the subject is clear)

• a conclusion (tell the reader what you want him to do
or think

								
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