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Informational: Writing Resources

Standards:

California Writing Standard 2.3 Write expository compositions, including analytical essays and research reports

Objectives:

a. Marshal evidence in support of a thesis and related claims, including information on all relevant perspectives.
b. Convey information and ideas from primary and secondary sources accurately and coherently.
c. Make distinctions between the relative value and significance of specific data, facts, and ideas.
d. Include visual aids by employing appropriate technology to organize and record information on charts, maps, and graphs.
e. Anticipate and address readers' potential misunderstandings, biases, and expectations.
f. Use technical terms and notations accurately.


CRITICAL ATTRIBUTES OF INFORMATIONAL WRITING

Informational writing offers factual, unbiased, and expansive information; may be based on research; or may be a personal essay based on personal thoughts and observations.

download suggested syllabus for CAHSEE English: Informational Writing Unit (designed by Kathy Matsushita)

 

Informational Essay Notes

- Writing that explains, or answers questions such as:
* What does this mean?
* How does this work?
* Why does this happen?
* Why is this important?

Opening Paragraph:
1. Focus the essay by telling what it is about. Then stick to that topic. Avoid getting sidetracked by digressions.
2. A grabber, strong opening, makes the readers want to go on reading. You can —
a. Ask a question
b. Tell a story
c. Use attention-getting language
 
Body Paragraphs:
1. Put each reason in a separate paragraph.
2. Use transitions to connect the paragraphs.
3. Support your explanation with convincing details and examples.
4. Vary the sentence structure and the choice of words.
5. Check your paper for usage, spelling capitalization, and punctuation.
 
Closing Paragraph:
1. Introduce a new fact that supports your explanation and/or make a generalization and/or a person observation.
2. End with a zinger.
 

Download as a student handout

Readings:

A Lady in a Machine Shop Dandi: Salt March Teen Drivers

A Brain Divided,
Left/Right Brain Test, & Key

A One-Woman Campaign Amelia Earhart
Deadly Leaves & Quiz How to Choose a Password & Discussion Questions Killer Asteroids
Water on Mars The Abominable Snowman The Story Of Smallpox
How to Stop Overeating  

download CAHSEE Informational Writing prompts (designed by Kathy Matsushita)

download Research Report PowerPoint

Additional Writing Prompts for CAHSEE Informational Writing (designed by Liz Daniell)

Week 1: You are a member of the Sports Club.  This club gives members the chance to talk with other people that share a similar enthusiasm for sports.  Besides sharing their knowledge with others, members get an opportunity to try new sports.  The club has decided to create a web page that will give people information about the different types of sports that club members participate in.  The club hopes that in addition to being informational, the website will help  bring in new members.  Your job is to research your favorite sport and write an informational essay that can be posted on a website. Start by brainstorming sports that are of interest to you.
Week 2: Write an informational essay describing the one book you would choose to save for future generations
Week 3: You are a member of the Hobby Club.  This club gives members the chance to talk with other people that share the same interests.  Besides sharing their knowledge with others, members get an opportunity to try new hobbies.  The club has decided to create a web page that will give people information about the different types of hobbies that club offers to its members.  The club hopes that in addition to being informational, the website will help  bring in new members.  Your job is to research your favorite hobby and write an informational essay that can be posted on the website. Start by brainstorming hobbies that are of interest to you.
Week 4: Write an informational essay introducing Independence High School to an exchange student from a different country. Include information about school customs, clubs, teams, and extracurricular activites.
Week 5: You are a member of the Travel Club.  This club gives members the chance to talk with other people that share a similar enthusiasm for traveling.  Besides sharing their knowledge with others, members get an opportunity to travel to faraway and exotic places.  The club has decided to create a web page that will give people information about the different places that club members visited.  The club hopes that in addition to being informational, the website will help  bring in new members.  Your job is to research a city or country that you would like to travel to and write an informational essay that can be posted on the website. Start by brainstorming places that you would like to travel to.

CAHSEE Home | Biographical Narrative | Informational | Persuasive | Business Letter | Analytical/Expository | Response to Literature

 

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