In the 8th grade, students continue to practice and refine many of the writing skills they learned in 7th grade while also learning some additional complex writing skills. Given that refining one’s writing can take time and practice, students are not expected to cover a great deal of new skills. However, they do learn some new techniques and skills that enhance their writing and enable them to become better writers.
In order to build writing skills, your 8th grader:
Writes arguments that present clear reasons and relevant evidence and include:
- Acknowledgements of opposing claims
- Logical and orderly presentation of reasons and evidence
- Graphics, special formatting, and multimedia, when appropriate
- Support of the claims through the use of evidence from credible sources
- A concluding sentence or paragraph that supports the argument made
- A formal tone and style.
Writes structured and well-organized opinion, research, and informative pieces that:
- Use supporting claims and evidence based on credible texts and resources
- Provide an introduction that includes an explanation of what follows
- Develop topics through the use of facts, details, quotations, examples, and subject-specific terms and definitions
- Include transitions that connect concepts, events, and paragraphs
- Include a conclusion that supports the presented idea(s)
- Maintain a formal “essay type” style
- Integrate other forms of media and formats such as graphs, charts, headings, audio, or video when appropriate.
Writes well-structured narratives (both true and fiction) that include:
- A narrator, characters, and a point of view
- Descriptive detail and sensory language to describe characters, settings, and experiences
- Dialogue, pacing, reflection, and details and descriptions of characters, setting, and experiences
- Thought-out word choice
- A clear structure with a logical order and flow, as shown through the use of transition words and phrases and a logical sequence
- A conclusion that is connected to and builds on the narrative.
- Plans, revises, and edits writing, specifically with guidance from teachers and peers, focusing specifically on trying new approaches and making sure the writing has a purpose and appeals to its audience.
- Uses technology and the Internet to produce and publish writing, work with others, and cite sources.
- Works on multiple short research projects that answer specific questions and cite multiple sources, while gathering additional questions for later research.
- Uses both print and digital resources to conduct research, focusing on using appropriate search terms and reliable sources.
- Uses quotes and a standard format for citation.
- Uses research to analyze and make inferences.