To Kill a Mockingbird MCAS Essay Assignment Name:
You are going to write a five-paragraph essay based on a character from To Kill a Mockingbird. This essay must address
the MCAS prompt below:
MCAS WRITING PROMPT, August 2005:
Often in works of literature, a character takes an unpopular stand on an issue. From a work of literature you have
read in or out of school, select a character that takes an unpopular stand on an issue. In a well-developed
composition, identify the character, describe the unpopular stand the character takes, and explain why the character’s
stand on the issue is important to the work of literature.
When responding to an MCAS writing prompt, it is vital to make sure you are answering every part of the question.
Notice that this writing prompt asks you to do three things in your essay:
1. Identify the character you have chosen. This means to explain who he/she is in context with the story. Give
the reader an idea of the kind of person you are writing about.
2. Describe the unpopular stand the character takes. You will need to select a character that has had a conflict
with his/her society over a choice he/she has made. This should be easy to do after reading To Kill a
Mockingbird! Describe the choice this character has made that upsets other people in the book.
3. Explain why the character’s stand is important to the work of literature. How does this conflict affect the
story? What do other characters learn as a result of this character’s struggle? What does the reader learn?
How convenient. The MCAS question writers have given you your three body paragraphs. All you need to do is fill in the
blanks and add an introduction and a conclusion! A graphic organizer is provided on the back of this page. After filling
out the graphic organizer, the essay should write itself. HELLOOOOOO EASY TEST GRADE!!
Criteria 90+ 80+ 70+ 60+ 50 and below
Addressing Student fully Student identifies Student identifies Student identifies Student inaccurately
the Topic identifies and and summarizes and summarizes the and summarizes identifies and
summarizes the main the main idea, basic elements of the the main idea, summarizes the main
idea, problem, or problem, or main idea, problem, problem, or idea, problem, or
question due to question with or question with question with question due to lack
thorough nearly complete partial accuracy due partial accuracy of comprehension.
comprehension. accuracy due to to limited due to poor
proficient comprehension. comprehension.
Using Student uses multiple Student uses There are good Few and/or poor Examples are not
Examples examples that are of multiple examples examples but not examples are given.
excellent quality. that are of good enough to fully given.
quality. explain the student’s
Organization Essay contains 5 full Essay contains 5 Essay contains 3-4 Essay contains 3 Essay is critically
developed paragraphs, but paragraphs; paragraphs; some incomplete.
paragraphs; each each paragraph paragraphs do not may contain 3
paragraph contains at does not contain 5 consistently contain sentences
least 5 sentences: sentences 5 sentences
Mechanics Essay has been Essay has been Essay contains no Essay contains no Errors seriously
and proofread carefully; Spellchecked, but more than 12 errors. more than 16 interfere with
Conventions no more than 4 not proofread errors throughout communication.
errors because more than relative to the
8 errors exist length of the
Intro: ONE PARAGRAPH
Topic or Main Idea Sentence:
Who is the character?
What unpopular stand did he/she take?
Why is this important to the story?
Body of Essay: THREE PARAGRAPHS
Identify the character Describe the stand Explain why it’s important
Details: Details: Details:
1. 1. 1.
2. 2. 2.
3. 3. 3.
Conclusion: ONE PARAGRAPH
Topic or Main Idea Sentence (same as above but worded differently):
Why did you choose the character you chose?
Why was his/her stand unpopular?
What effect did this have on the story?
WHAT TO TURN IN: This page and a VERY CAREFULLY EDITED final draft! Your heading
should be in the top left corner and should include your first and last name, the date, my name (Ms.
Freisberg) and your class period. If you type, use a 12 point (non-fancy) font and please double-space!