Literacy 7-12

Systems Change


Factor Connections

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Composition is the expression of ideas through writing. This skill is dependent on Foundational Writing Skills, which include spelling and knowledge of basic writing conventions. Composition requires students to set goals for their writing and make constant decisions to meet specific writing task requirements. These decisions become more refined for older writers, and include those regarding content and structure. Adolescents move beyond simply stating ideas in writing, and now are able to craft their writing for specific audiences and purposes.

Main Ideas

When adolescents write in the content areas, the process becomes more specific to different disciplinary tasks and aids in cementing their understanding of new information. Adolescents are increasingly able to develop plans and goals for their writing to meet a particular intention. During the writing process, adolescents may begin to write more creatively and include more personal style and tone in their writing, particularly in narrative tasks.

Planning for the writing process becomes more important during this phase of development, as adolescents are increasingly required to produce longer pieces of writing. These pieces span the content areas and may include composition of original research papers and writing across a variety of genres. These genres include:

Narrative writing tells a story, and includes a setting, main character(s), initiating event, internal plan, attempts to carry out the plan, outcome, and reaction of character(s). This includes writing personal essays.

Expository writing provides information with the goal of educating the reader. Some forms of expository writing include:

  • Persuasive and argumentative writing is used to persuade the reader to agree with the writer's point of view by providing facts that support the writer's position. As students progress through middle and high school, persuasive writing is bolstered by an increase in Argumentative Reasoning.
  • Informative or explanatory writing tells the reader about a topic to help them better understand a process, procedure, or concept from an objective standpoint. Some important elements include an introduction (opening sentence introducing the topic and a thesis statement), a body (main ideas and elaboration), and a well-developed conclusion.

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