Because of the increased accountability of high stakes tests, the writing process sometimes becomes a secondary focus when preparing students to write for a different purpose. Helping educators find value in various purposes of writing can be a challenge because of the change in process. One assesses the process while the other assesses comprehension and the intricate details of a specific standard. There is definitely a place for each type of writing. Let’s quickly talk about what the writing process entails. Here is a brief description of the five stages of writing.
Each of the stages helps students progress to continuously improve their writing based on a prompt or a task. This writing assignment could require a piece of text or not. For example, “Write an essay describing your first experience on a roller coaster.” This prompt does not require students to read a piece of text, in order to complete the assignment.
Now let’s talk about writing, as it appears on a standardized test. Usually, students have allotted time in which they are expected to complete a writing prompt. The difference is that this prompt is solely dependent on a piece of text that is provided. Students are expected to respond to a genre specific prompt, in which they are expected to refer, cite, or quote information from the provided text. For example, “Think of the passage that you just read, give your opinion about which roller coaster is the best and why.”
Providing students with practice on various types of writing is essential in helping them understand the connection between reading and writing. We can help students understand that they can become better writers when they become better readers. These two things go hand in hand.