Standards in this strand: -- -- -- -- -- --
Conventions of Standard English: --
Demonstrate command of the conventions of standard English grammar and usage when writing or speaking. --
Use parallel structure.* --
Use various types of phrases (noun, verb, adjectival, adverbial, participial, prepositional, absolute) and clauses (independent, dependent; noun, relative, adverbial) to convey specific meanings and add variety and interest to writing or presentations. --
Demonstrate command of the conventions of standard English capitalization, punctuation, and spelling when writing. --
Use a semicolon (and perhaps a conjunctive adverb) to link two or more closely related independent clauses. --
Use a colon to introduce a list or quotation. --
Spell correctly. Knowledge of Language: --
Apply knowledge of language to understand how language functions in different contexts, to make effective choices for meaning or style, and to comprehend more fully when reading or listening. --
Write and edit work so that it conforms to the guidelines in a style manual (., MLA Handbook , Turabian's Manual for Writers ) appropriate for the discipline and writing type. Vocabulary Acquisition and Use: --
Determine or clarify the meaning of unknown and multiple-meaning words and phrases based on grades 9-10 reading and content , choosing flexibly from a range of strategies. --
Use context (., the overall meaning of a sentence, paragraph, or text; a word's position or function in a sentence) as a clue to the meaning of a word or phrase. --
Identify and correctly use patterns of word changes that indicate different meanings or parts of speech (., analyze, analysis, analytical; advocate, advocacy ). --
Consult general and specialized reference materials (., dictionaries, glossaries, thesauruses), both print and digital, to find the pronunciation of a word or determine or clarify its precise meaning, its part of speech, or its etymology. --
Verify the preliminary determination of the meaning of a word or phrase (., by checking the inferred meaning in context or in a dictionary). --
Demonstrate understanding of figurative language, word relationships, and nuances in word meanings. --
Interpret figures of speech (., euphemism, oxymoron) in context and analyze their role in the text. --
Analyze nuances in the meaning of words with similar denotations. --
Acquire and use accurately general academic and domain-specific words and phrases, sufficient for reading, writing, speaking, and listening at the college and career readiness level; demonstrate independence in gathering vocabulary knowledge when considering a word or phrase important to comprehension or expression.
How do I know if my thesis is strong? If there’s time, run it by a professor or make an appointment at the Writing Center to get some feedback (http:///writingcenter/). Even if you do not have time to get advice elsewhere, you can do some thesis evaluation of your own. When reviewing your first draft of your working thesis, ask yourself the following:
1) Do I answer the question? Re-reading the question prompt after constructing a working thesis can help you fix an argument that misses the focus of the question.
2) Have I taken a position that others might challenge or oppose? If your thesis simply states facts that no one would, or even could, disagree with, it’s possible that you are simply providing a summary, rather than making an argument.
3) Is my thesis statement specific enough? Thesis statements that are too vague often do not have a strong argument. If your thesis contains words like “good” or “successful,” see if you could be more specific: why is something “good”; what specifically makes something “successful”?
4) Does my thesis pass the “So what?” test? If a reader’s first response is, “So what?” then you need to clarify, to forge a relationship, or to connect to a larger issue.
5) Does my essay support my thesis specifically and without wandering? If your thesis and the body of your essay do not seem to go together, one of them has to change. It’s okay to change your working thesis to reflect things you have figured out in the course of writing your paper. Remember, always reassess and revise your writing as necessary.
6) Does my thesis pass the “how and why?” test? If a reader’s first response is “how?” or “why?” your thesis may be too open-ended and lack guidance for the reader. See what you can add to give the reader a better take on your position right from the beginning.