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Writing Composition

In preperation for the upcoming 2014-2015 Academic Team season, here are study materials/test for our writing composition students. Also check out the links on the main academic team page where I've uploaded some writing guides, tips, power points, and more. You are the talented writer, but writers need some tips on how to write for what their audience is looking for.

Writing Composition is assessed on:

  • Articles
  • Editorials
  • Speeches


It's important to remember that all students have training on the writing composition in their regular ELA classrooms because writing composition is on-demand writing! Use the techniques that have worked for you in those classes-- hand organizer and SPAT are essential! Writing composition for academic team challenges you to be assessed next to the top writers in all schools, and we are very excited for GMS writers to show how talented they are! Basics like SPAT and knowing your purpose is easy to you, now is the time to challenge yourself to improve your unique writing voice, hooking the reader, and using enriching vocabulary.

The first thing you should (as always when you are being assessed in anything) is KNOW WHAT THE SCORER WANTS. Look at your rubric:


As an accomplished writer before academic team, writers should be able to do the required elements with no problem. What you want to concentrate on is the May Include (but limited to) any of the following part.

The best way to improve your writing is to simply:

  • WRITE and WRITE and WRITE (and then write some more)
  • ANALYZE and REFLECT on your writing: What was good? What can you improve?
  • Read great writing from other writers! This will improve your structure, give you ideas on hooks, and expand your vocabulary!

In general, students come to me familar with persuasive letters, but sometimes confused about editorials (that's a persuasive letter written to the editor of a newspaper intending for the community to read) and speeches. Familarize yourself with good editorials and speeches by following the links:




Composition Prompt

Middle Grades District 2009



You have ninety (90) minutes to complete the following writing activity.  You must write in the booklet provided using pen or pencil, but a pen is recommended.  You may keep the prompt and pen after the event is over.  Use your best handwriting.


Your writing will be evaluated using the following criteria:


  • Content: Purpose, Audience Awareness, Voice, Idea Development, Genre
  • Structure: Organization, Transitions, Sentence Structure
  • Conventions: Grammar, Word Choice, Correctness


Writing Prompt:

Charles Barkley is a former NBA star and a successful television broadcaster. He is perhaps best known, however, for the frequent skirmishes he has had with the law, including a recent arrest for drunken driving. Barkley rarely apologizes for his behavior, and is known for the quote “I am not a role model.”


Hardly anyone would dispute that young men and women follow the exploits of sports stars and entertainment figures closely. Does the behavior of these celebrities, however, impact the life decisions those young men and women make?


Writing Task:

Write an editorial for your school newspaper answering this question: Do celebrities have a responsibility to be role models?  Support your opinion with details.



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