English Language Arts Common Core Standards: Writing Anchor Standards

When trying to decipher Common Core Standards, anchor standards make a good starting point. Anchor standards aren’t specific to any grade level, but they do indicate the skills that a student should have in reading, writing, speaking and listening, and language by the time she graduates from high school.

The ten anchor standards for writing outline the types of writing students will complete, along with specific skills related to writing and research processes. Similar to the anchor standards for reading, these standards represent the end result of mastering writing skills in kindergarten through Grade 12.

  • Writing with different text types and purposes: The first three anchor standards in writing address argumentative writing, explanatory writing (tells the reader how to do something), and narrative writing (text that tells a story or describes a sequence of events). The standards include components for effectively using each type of writing, including citing specific evidence and details and using text structure and the order in which information is presented.

  • Producing and distributing writing: The three anchor standards under this heading are related to the writing process, including developing writing that is geared toward an appropriate audience, using revisions and edits to strengthen writing, and effectively using technology to make writing more accessible to a broader audience.

  • Researching to build and present knowledge: These three anchor standards focus on the research process, including the evaluation of sources and the selection of evidence to support a conclusion or argument.

  • Evaluating the range of writing: Similar to the final anchor standard for reading, this standard is summative in nature. It states that students should be able to write within various timeframes (either within short amounts of time or over longer periods when doing research and making significant revisions), for various reasons, and for different audiences.

Appendix C of the English language arts standards has samples of student writing that you and your child can review. This will help both of you get a better grasp on the writing skills required by the standards.

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