COMPETENCY 0004 - WRITING INFORMATIVE AND EXPLANATORY ESSAYS
Section 0004 requires those taking the CST to demonstrate a proficiency in writing informational text as well as the pedagogical knowledge necessary to teach students strategies for creating informtive and explanatory texts. The purpose of this kind of writing might be to examine a topic, to convey ideas, concepts, and other information, and to summarize and reflect upon specific texts, such as academic articles, seminal U.S.documents, or texts that provide information about specific cultures and points of view.
Teachers of writing must know how to use and also teach specific strategies for creating informative/explanatory essays. This includes knowledge of how to write clearly main ideas, supporting details, and effective text structure. At the same time, writers must also demonstrate a clear purpose and point of view.
Performance Expectations: Competent teachers of English Language Arts must demonstrate that they can:
- apply knowledge of how to provide a clear introduction that indicates wht is to follow in an essay
- demonstrate knowledge of how to organize complex ideas, concepts, and information so that each new element builds onw hat precedes it
- apply knowledge of how to develop a topic with relevant, well-chosen facts, definitions, concrete details, quotations, or other information and examples
- apply knowledge of how to use appropriate and varied transitions and syntax to link sectins of a text, create cohesion, and clarify relationships between ideas and concepts
- demonstrate knowledge of how to use precise language and domain-specific vocabulary to inform about or explain a topic
- apply knowledge of how to provide a concluding statement or section that follows from and supports the information and explanation presented
- apply knowledge of how to develop and strengthen informative and explanatory writing as needed by planning, revising, editing, rewriting or trying a new approach
- apply knowledge of how to draw evidence from works of literature or literary nonfiction to support analysis, reflection, and research
- demonstrate knowledge of how to use elements and techniques of various genres of literature (e.g., allegory, irony, ambiguity) to affect meaning
- establishes and maintains a formal style and produces clear and coherent writing in which the development, organization, and style are appropriate to task, purpose, and audience
- demonstrate knowledge of how to use technology, including the internet, to produce and publish writing and to interact and collaborate with others
Expository writing is to-the-point and factual. This category of writing includes definitions, instructions, explanations, clarifications, directions, comparisons/contrasts, and classifications. There are many types of explanatory and informative writing. The following chart explains the most common patterns that students will be asked to write.
Source: http://web.stanford.edu/~arnetha/expowrite/info.html#patterns (See this website for examples of each type):
Besides teaching students to write informative and explanatory paragraphs and essays for differing purposes, it is important to teach them to organize thier essays so that their points and supporting evidence are clearly presented. Graphic organizers such as the following can be used
Using evidence to support explanations: One of the shifts in the Common Core Standards is an emphasis upon providing evidence in all explanatory and informational writing. This is particularly necessary if students are using informational and explanatory text to analyze a piece of literature. See the quiz popper below to test yourself on this important skill.
Source: www.readwritethink.org (ncte/ira)