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Informative writing at grade 8

Grade 8
 Grade 12

The table below shows the percentage of eighth-graders within each achievement level whose responses were rated as "Excellent." For example, 4 percent of students performing at the Proficient level were able to write developed and well-organized essays with well-chosen details, using transitions to lead the reader from one part of the essay to another. These students also consistently varied their sentence structure and made good word choices, doing so with minimal errors. Less than 1 percent of the students at the Basic level were able to do so.

See additional student responses and the scoring criteria used for this writing prompt in the NAEP Questions Tool. See an illustration of each rating level plotted on the NAEP scale in the writing item maps.

Percentage rated as "Excellent" for eighth-graders at each achievement level
in 2007


 Below Basic

 At Basic

 At Proficient

 At Advanced






# Rounds to zero.

The response shown below was rated "Excellent" because it is well-organized, using descriptive details and transitions to lead the reader from one piece of information to another: "A backpack is a bag with a rounded top and a flat bottom. It unzips around the top to reveal a spacious pouch. In this pouch you might keep..." The response also sustains variety in sentence structure throughout and exhibits good word choices (reveal, vertically, flexible).

 Written response. Dear Rina, Hi! My name is Kate and I am currently attending the school you will when you reach the United States. I'm glad you're excited about starting eighth grade! I don't know what eighth grade is like where you come from, but here it's really fantastic! My middle school friends and I do keep our school work in backpacks. A backpack is a bag with a rounded top + a flat bottom. It un-zips around the top to reveal a spacious pouch. In this pouch you might keep a binder with school papers in it or a textbook. Other than the pouch, on the front of the backpack there may be other small pockets to keep things such as pencils, pens, or other small items in. Two straps are attached vertically on the back of the backpack. These are used for putting your arms through so the backpack hangs on your back. Most backpacks are made of a canvas like material that is flexible but not stretchy. Tehy come in a veriety of colors. I hope my explanation of a backpack helped give you an idea of what they look like. I am excited to meet you when you come to America! I'm sure you'll enjoy eighth grade as much as I have! Maybe you could return the favor by telling me what it's like where you come from. Write back soon! Your new American friend,

Read more information about what the writing assessment measures.

SOURCE: U.S. Department of Education, Institute of Education Sciences, National Center for Education Statistics, National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP), 2007 Writing Assessment.

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