Following are writing samples that have been annotated to illustrate the criteria required to meet the standards for particular types of writing—argument, informational/explanatory text, and narrative—in a given grade. Each of the samples exhibits the level of quality required to meet the Writing standards for that grade; some samples, as noted in their descriptions, exceed the standards ’ requirements in one or more ways. The range of accomplishment within each grade reflects differences in individual development as well as in the conditions under which the student writers were expected to work. Some of the samples were written in class or for homework; others were written for on-demand assessments; still others were the result of extended projects that involved research. Where possible, each sample includes information about the circumstances under which it was produced. The samples come from students in kindergarten through grade 8 and from high school students in grades 9, 10, and 12. The students attended school in a number of states and districts across the country. At the lower grades, the samples include “opinion ” writing, an elementary type of argument in which students give reasons for their opinions and preferences. Because reasons are required, such writing helps prepare students for drafting the arguments they will be expected to create beginning in grade 6. Acknowledgment The Standards work group would like to express its appreciation to colleagues in Massachusetts, California, an
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