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the cahsee writing prompt051106 by jox66113


									                                 THE CAHSEE WRITING PROMPT

When you take the English Language Arts section of the CAHSEE, you will be asked to write an
essay. You may be asked to write in response to a work of literature or a work of non-fiction; you
may be asked to write an expository or persuasive essay or a business letter.

Your writing task will be presented to you in the form of a prompt. The purpose of this prompt is to
provide you with a topic, and to stimulate your thinking about that topic. The prompt also lets you
know what is expected of your essay: a clear thesis or main idea, supported with specific examples,
details, and reasons.

When you read a prompt, you should be able to identify four parts:


The prompt may make a statement or describe a situation or conflict between characters in a
story. It may simply lay out two sides of an argument.


The prompt tells you what to respond to in your writing and asks questions. You must make
sure you respond to these questions in your essay.


The prompt tells you how to answer the questions. It may instruct you to use details and
examples or it may tell you what points to cover.


The checklist gives you a list of basics to keep in mind as you write your essay: understand
what you read answer the questions as directed and observe appropriate sentence, paragraph
and essay structure.

After reading “The Hiking Trip”, consider the following CAHSEE prompt:

CAHSEE Sample Writing Task:
Response to Literature
                                                         Part 1: The prompt makes a statement:
In the story “The Hiking Trip” the reader learns                 The purpose of this part of the prompt is to stimulate
about the main character, Jeff. Jeff’s personality               your thinking about what you learned about Jeff’s
and emotions are revealed through the actions                    personality from what he says and what he does.
and dialog presented in the story.

Write an essay in which you describe the
personality and emotions of Jeff, the main               Part 2: The prompt tells you what to respond to in
character. How do his personal characteristics                   your essay:
add to the events of the story? How does the                     This part of the prompt tells you that your essay is
                                                                 going to be about Jeff’s personality and emotions.
author reveal the information about Jeff in the
                                                                 You will accomplish this by answering the two
story?                                                           questions. You cannot write an acceptable essay
                                                                 until you answer these questions.

                                                           Part 3: The prompt directs us on how to go about
Use details and examples from the story to                         answering these questions:
                                                                   The purpose of this part of the prompt is to stimulate
support your ideas.                                                your thinking about what you learned about Jeff’s
                                                                   personality from what he says and what he does.
Checklist for Your Writing Prompt:
The following checklist will help you do your best
work. Make sure you:
• Carefully read the passage and the
   description of the task
• Organize your writing with a strong
   introduction, body, and conclusion
• Use specific details and examples from the
   passage to demonstrate your understanding              Part 4: You will have a checklist to help you remember
   of the main ideas and the author’s purpose.                    all the basics of a good essay.
• Use precise language that is appropriate for
   you audience and purpose.
• Vary your sentences to make your writing
   interesting to read.
• Check for mistakes in grammar, spelling,
   punctuation, capitalization, and sentence

                          TIPS FOR ATTACKING THE CAHSEE PROMPT

1. Use your pencil. Underline the most important parts of the prompt: the part that tells you what to
   respond to, and how to do it.

2. If you are responding to a story, go back over the text. Use your pencil to underline dialog and
   details to support your response.

3. Use the ideas you have underlined to brainstorm and cluster ideas for your essay.

                                         JEFF’S PERSONALITY

         How does it add to the story?                     How does the author show us?

                 He’s scared                                  “Can’t stop…Mark’s in big

         He finds the courage to climb
                 the mountain

        He didn’t want to go on the trip


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