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Persuasive writing at grade 12

 Grade 8
Grade 12

Persuasive writing is focused on the reader because it is intended to influence people to think about a particular topic or issue in a certain way. For this prompt, students are required to make an argument about whether big inventions, such as computers, are more important in their daily lives than inventions like pencils. The advantage of the prompt is that it gives students the opportunity to present views on something about which they are likely to know a good deal and may have clear opinions, given their own use of new technologies.

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 of twelfth-grade students at each rating level in 2007













NOTE: Detail may not sum to totals because of rounding.

Sample of Twelfth-Grade Persuasive Writing Prompt

The twentieth century has given us inventions that have changed our lives in many ways. Big inventions, like television, computers, or microwave ovens, have had such a great impact on our culture that they seem to overshadow the small ones, like ballpoint pens, headphones, or calculators.

Write an essay in which you choose whether the “big” inventions or the “small” ones play a more important role in your daily life and provide reasons to support your position. You may use the examples of inventions given above or come up with some of your own. Give as many examples as you feel necessary to support your position.

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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