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Standard 3: Critical Reading and Writing

Students will apply critical thinking skills to reading and writing.

 For more specific genre information, please refer to Genre Guidance (page 4 of the Support Documents).


WRITING: Students will write for varied purposes and audiences in all modes, using fully developed ideas, strong organization, well-chosen words, fluent sentences, and appropriate voice.

10.3.W.2 INFORMATIVE - Grade Level Focus  Students will compose essays and reports to objectively introduce and develop topics, incorporating evidence (e.g., specific facts, examples, details, data) and maintaining an organized structure and a formal style.

Student Actions 

Teacher Actions 

  • Students will continue to compose a variety of informative essays and reports.
  • Students will continue to follow specific guidelines for each essay or report.
  • Students will continue to introduce a topic; organize complex ideas, concepts, and information to make important connections and distinctions; include formatting (e.g., headings), graphics (e.g., figures, tables), and multimedia when useful to aiding comprehension. (Ideas, Organization)
  • Students will continue to develop the topic with well-chosen, relevant, and sufficient facts, extended definitions, concrete details, quotations, or other information and examples appropriate to the audience’s knowledge of the topic. (Voice, Ideas) 
  • Students will continue to use appropriate and varied transitions to link the major sections of the text, create cohesion, and clarify the relationships among complex ideas and concepts. (Sentence Fluency)
  • Students will continue to establish and maintain a formal style and objective tone while attending to the norms and conventions of the discipline in which they are writing.  (Voice, Word Choice)
  • Students will continue to provide a concluding statement or section that follows from and supports the information or explanation presented (e.g., articulating implications or the significance of the topic). (Ideas, Organization)
  • Teachers model or provide models informative essays.
  • Teachers demonstrate prewriting and drafting strategies for informative essays.
  • Teachers provide a variety of informative writing tasks.
  • Teachers provide guidelines for success for each informative writing task, which may include student contributions.
  • Teachers explain the relationship between the conclusion and the rest of the essay.
  • Teachers encourage students to try different rhetorical devices and organizational styles in their informative writing to experience how their meaning can change.
  • Teachers provide opportunities for students to receive feedback on their writing in regards to:
    • organization, diction, and syntax
    • flow and transitions
    • formal style and objective tone
    • selection of supporting evidence
    • fit of the conclusion with the evidence provided


Supporting Resource

Teacher Insights

  • As noted above, this writing mode is the Grade Level Focus for 10th grade.

  • Informative writing is also known as expository, informational, and explanatory writing.

  • Informational essays (writing) = non-fiction texts that contain facts and information (OSDE Glossary).  

  • In general, informational writing encompasses any nonfiction writing; some examples may include:

    • Technical writing (i.e., instructional handbooks, or how-to texts)

    • News reporting

    • Descriptive writing (i.e., reviews, critiques, website information, etc…)

    • Research/educational (i.e., textbooks, academic journals, etc…)

  • Key elements of informational writing:

    • Informational writing exhibits a formal style and objective tone.

    • Informational writing should be objective.

    • Informational writing can follow different organizational structures including compare/contrast, problem/solution, cause/effect, claims/counterclaims/evidence.  

    • More information: Purdue OWL and Sadlier English Language Arts Blog.

  • Evidence can be gathered in two ways.  

    • One, through primary sources or first-hand knowledge which includes personal experience, anecdotes, current events, interviews, surveys and questionnaires, and experiments.  

    • Two, through secondary sources or second-hand knowledge; it is evidence acquired through research, reading, and investigation. It includes factual and historical information, expert opinion, and quantitative data.

    • Different types of evidence make different appeals (ethos, pathos, or logos) and will have different effects on the audience and to the argument. For more information on these: Primary and Secondary Sources and excerpts from The Lang. of Comp. & Everything's an Argument.

  • Authentic writing often involves blending multiple modes of writing (argument, informative, narrative) in order to achieve a specific purpose.

    • Narrative writing can be a part of argumentative writing because the insight into one person’s life actually presents a new perspective to an issue that readers had not previously considered. Someone’s personal story can make an appeal to pathos as readers empathize with the writer, and the readers are considering a new point of view and/or receiving a clear, direct story--an example--as evidence for a claim.

    • Narrative writing can be blended into an informational mode if the writer decides to incorporate a story in order to illustrate a major concept.


  • Freewrite (untimed):

    • Write about a current event that is going on in our state. What is the significance of this event? Write about the effects it will have on people in our community. (Other example prompts)


Due to recursive nature of the standards, it is essential that teachers are aware of how all objectives within and between strands work together for optimal instruction.

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