This semester, we will use the six questions below to guide our learning:
1. How does this text work? (conventions, techniques, imagery, form)
2. Who is it for? (audience)
3. Why was it created? (purpose and intent)
4. How does voice impact my understanding of the text?
5. What intended and unintended value messages does it contain?
6. How can I apply the criteria above to my own work?
This semester, you will also write the OSSLT, or Ontario Secondary School Literacy Test. We want this process to painless yet purposeful: it should be painless in the sense that it shouldn’t cause you undue stress, and purposeful because the activities we will complete in preparation for the test should make you better communicators. Hopefully, our writing tasks throughout the semester will help you prepare; in fact, it might be best to think of all of the tasks you complete this semester as content worth publishing.
Today, you will look at a few Grade 10 exemplars. I’d like you to work in your groups to evaluate the exemplars. Here is some useful terminology that might help you with this task:
thesis: this is the main argument in an essay. Traditionally, it is the last sentence of the introduction.
topic sentence: this is the first or second sentence of a paragraph. It should prepare the reader for the rest of the paragraph, and it should connect directly to the thesis. In essays, topic sentences often state part of the argument, and thus resemble thesis statements.
evidence: this is the support that the writer provides for their claims. The evidence should be clear, accurate, and relevant.
Spelling errors: Bad spelling herts my eyez. Actually, a recent study suggests that, in total, English websites lose millions of dollars every year because of spelling errors; potential customers find other business online because they believe poor spelling indicates unprofessionalism. See? Bad spelling is costly.
Fragments: Incomplete ideas. Which have no subjects. Sometimes no verbs, either.
Irrelevant Information: Providing irrelevant information reminds me of something I did on the weekend. My family and I went out for pizza and then returned home to watch one of our favourite sit-coms. Good times.