In Writing & Reading Club (a weekly writing and reading improvement program), we score essays and provide feedback.
Often, people don’t know what high-scoring written expression looks like so that’s what we’re going to show you.
Here are 3 top written expression essays we collected that would rank highly in the selective and scholarship exams like ACER, Edutest and Academic and Assessment Services.
- Example written expression on the prompt: The Hardest Journey of All. Written by Grade 5 student for entry into Year 7 and scored 8.33
- Example written expression on the prompt: Coming Last. Written by Grade 5 student for entry into Year 7 and scored 8.33
- Example written expression on the prompt: The doorbell rang. Written by Grade 5/6 student for entry into Year 7 and scored 8.0
When you read through them, you’ll notice that they combine 3 major things well: structure, expression and relationship to the question. It’s not enough to have only one of the 3— you need all 3 parts working together beautifully to have a scholarship and scholarship test-winning essay.
But… there are two things you also should know about what goes behind a competitive written expression piece.
The first is that it takes time. Nearly all students who scored a mark above 80% spent more than 2 hours on their piece (with one spending around 4 hours writing and reviewing).
Secondly, the piece that scored the highest was not their first piece. They resubmitted their essays many times, got feedback, fixed up their weaker areas and then wrote their essay. Practice (and feedback) does make perfect!
Here’s the proof. Below are the scores of one of our past writing club groups.
|Week 1||Week 2||Week 3||Week 4||Week 5||Average|
What you’ll see is that the average score for each of the three students was higher than their original first week score. The students who scored well spent at least 1 hour on writing their piece and reviewed it.
The writing for Student 3 didn’t gain a higher average mark because they missed two practice sessions and spent only 20 minutes writing their piece. On the upside, this particular student in the following writing club, improved substantially after committing to regular practice.
So how can your child get their writing to a level where they can obtain a scholarship or gain entry to a selective school?
Here are our five steps.
- Review to check for structure / flow of the piece.
- Writing enhancements in the form of expression
- Review for final check.
While these steps seem simple, we know that simple things are often the most difficult to do. Get your child to go through the process and spend a lot of time fixing and polishing their work up until they are happy with it.
The main thing to remember is that you MUST always plan your writing and review your plan for storyline flow.
The best way we can relate this process to the real world is through building a house. We all know that there’s a lot of work that goes into an architect’s plan and the amount of detail that goes before building (e.g. selecting the right materials) is mind-boggling.
It’s like crafting a written expression piece, a poorly planned essay is more than likely to result in a piece that’s confusing to read. Avoid this and follow the five steps!
I hope you found this blog post useful and please comment below and let me know your thoughts! (Ps. I read all the comments personally)