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English Language Arts Common Core Standards: Writing Skills

The English Language Arts Common Core writing standards, which apply to kindergarten through Grade 12, are designed to ensure that your child’s mastery of writing progresses with each school year. As with the reading standards, many of the writing standards seek to develop writers who pay close attention to details within source texts and can use evidence to support their claims or thoughts.

The writing standards also require that students use proper style in writing and make use of structure when crafting a piece of writing. Three types of writing play a central role in these standards:

  • Argumentative or persuasive writing: This style of writing forces students to state a claim and provide evidence to back it up. Students are expected to clearly use well-reasoned arguments or other persuasive methods to convince their readers of the central point(s) being conveyed.

  • Expository or informational writing: Expository writing calls for students to explain or inform readers regarding a specific topic or task. This writing style often involves the use of various terms and definitions, illustrations, instructions, and representations.

  • Narrative writing: As a separate and distinct style, narrative writing is only applicable to English classes and fiction writing. Students assume the role of narrator as they tell stories or relate sequences of events. Narrative writing involves scenes, settings, and characters.

    However, in classes where nonfiction writing is required, such as science or social studies, this style of writing often involves describing occurrences, such as historical events or scientific processes, placing emphasis on cause and effect. These writing skills are addressed in the literacy standards in Grades 6-12, where narrative writing is included in argumentative and informative writing, and not treated as a separate style.

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