New Jersey GEPA Language Arts Literacy Assessment Tutorial
Cluster 2: Writing to Persuade
Summary of Content to be Tested
The Eighth Grade students will be given 45 minutes to complete the Writing to Persuade section of the GEPA assessment.
The Persuasive Writing prompt presents controversial issues arising in either interpersonal, school/community, or societal
- Interpersonal controversies arise when two or more individuals disagree about choices, decisions, behaviors, or ideas.
Example: A student has a personal decision to make about completing a school project or attending a sporting event.
- School/Community controversies arise when two or more groups of people disagree about rules, behaviors, procedures, conditions,
or ideas. Example: Proposition of including a Writing or Math Skills Class as a requirement for all students.
- Societal controversies arise when people disagree about laws, conditions, and ideas. Example: Mandatory curfew for teenagers.
Persuasive prompts ask students to respond, offering their opinion(s) in a persuasive letter or essay. The audience for
the writing piece may be an individual such as a friend, teacher, principal, or the audience may be members of an identified
organization such as the student council or the township committee.
To receive a proficient score, according to the Registered Holistic Scoring Rubric, the student will need to:
- Respond clearly and appropriately to the given prompt noting the subject, purpose, and intended audience.
- Select a single focus and appropriate details to support the writing.
- Organize the response to include an introduction, appropriate transitions, and a conclusion.
- Use elaboration like anecdotes to engage the audience.
- Use varied sentence structure and word choices.
- Use Standard English conventions in all writing, such as punctuation, capitalization, and spelling.
- Use language appropriate to the audience.