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Examiners Top Tips for writing

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					                         Examiner’s Top Tips for Writing

The characteristics of good writing are consistent throughout the various types; whether to
persuade, inform, review, describe, argue, explain or narrate, good writing exhibits: wide
vocabulary; varied sentence structure; well-organised content; a personal voice; and
rhetorical devices such as imagery.

Share Assessment Objectives and skills descriptors with students so they know where
they are supposed to be headed. It is really important to simplify the AOs for students.

Show students work, which is a grade better than their own, and they can imitate the
qualities they see there.

Go for Paragraphing Sentencing      Punctuation – don’t bother with spelling!

Explicitly Teach 

1. Features of various text types / genre. Make the differences clear. Make the
audience and therefore tone clear.
Suggestion:

             Students make mind maps / diagrams of knowledge of each text type writing

             Use regularly as formative assessment and student success criteria

             Make into classroom displays


2. How to write a clear sequence
Suggestion:

             Chop up paragraphs from past media exam texts

             Chop up students own paragraphs

             Teach the topic sentence through highlighting / text marking

             Teach the topic sentence by cutting them out of texts

             Writing ‘group’ paragraphs to join together to make a sequenced essay is
             better than writing individual essays

3. C/D students by giving them structures

Give scaffolds BUT take them away gradually (Students will then understand 2 above)

4. How to make a plan
Suggestion:

             ‘Go For 5’  Spider diagram or mind map ideas

             Choose the best five ideas
               Write a pithy sentence about each idea

               Sequence 1 to 5

               Write the five paragraphs

5. C/D students to have choice in exam. Make the differences clear.

e.g. Explain and describe, Analyse and review, Argue and persuade etc

(Try to equip them with all three of triplets.)

6. The effect of sentences

Through subject/verb inversions, wider range of openings, use of non finite clauses
(features of better writers) and signpost phrases.
Suggestion:

               Model development

               Speaking and listening exercises answering not ‘what they have done’ but
               ‘why they have done it’. Talk about impact.

7. C/D students to use a choice of words

This is central. C/D students afraid to use a good word in case they misspell it

Give them vocabulary; give them confidence

Suggestions:
               Create word banks

               Play with vocabulary for starters

8. C/D students to be bold and take control of their (exam) writing
Students can put asterisks and ring round paragraphs and move text in the exam.
It is perfectly acceptable to cross out. (BUT legible handwriting remains an issue.)

Suggestions:

Use interactive whiteboard to move text around.

Cut up paragraphs and move sentences / signpost phrases / key words around f or effect

9. C/D students that they don’t need to write that much
Find out how much a student can comfortably write in the time allowed and teach them to
plan for that. Nearer exams practising writing ONE paragraph under speed is better than
writing whole essays.

10. C/D students to go back and critically read what they have written

Suggestions:
Start with small amounts. Speaking and listening exercises on students’ own work
Postscript
Exam practice should take the form of planning, of choosing appropriate questions and
materials, and of writing small sections of answers, rather than attempting whole papers.

Time devoted to exam practice should not merely be for writing mock exams, but for
planning responses.

				
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