Common Core Standards: Grade 8 Writing Skills

The Common Core Standards outline the process by which students should be honing their writing skills. Writing in Grade 8 requires a greater degree of precision, particularly with regard to how well students identify supporting details to use in their writing and how they choose to organize information within a written text.

More emphasis is also placed on the development of the introductory and concluding parts of writing, which students use even more to outline the most important aspects of their writing and to support their overall purpose. Here’s a quick glance at some of the writing expectations for Grade 8:

  • Argument: In their writing, students tell the difference between their position and an opposing view. They also find and include important supporting evidence. Students explain the connection between evidence and/or sources used and the student’s position on an issue, along with how available evidence relates to an opposing position. Students write a conclusion that flows from and bolsters the claims in the rest of their writing.

  • Information and explanation: Students clearly communicate their topic and are successful in organizing information in a way that makes sense to readers. More emphasis is placed on how successful students are in selecting evidence that best supports their efforts to relate information. As with other grade levels, students finish their writing with a conclusion that effectively reinforces information presented in preceding sections of their writing.

  • Narrative: The emphasis on details and the use of organization to allow events to develop continues for narrative writing in Grade 8. Students continue to use reflection to support the development of key aspects in a piece of writing, while also describing relationships between significant pieces of information they include in their writing.

In Grade 8, students continue to pre-write, organize information for use in writing, and make revisions to their writing that enhance the quality of the final product. They also continue to use technology to make their work accessible to others. Students integrate details and evidence from selected sources that are relevant and appropriate for their topic without plagiarizing. As they complete their research, students also identify topics for further study.

In previous grades, the standards specifically outlined expectations for how much a student would be able to type. You won’t find these specific expectations in Grade 8 or beyond. The assumption is that students will be proficient typists by the time they reach this grade level. Because students progress at different rates when it comes to keyboarding skills, you want to make sure your child is on track.

If you see your child struggling with typing, try to involve him in more typing activities. This may include typing his homework instead of writing it out, retyping interesting stories he reads in magazines or newspapers, or using a typing program that can track his progress.

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