Middle School Writing Classes and Assignments

Along with reading comprehension, a child's writing skills can be a predictor of academic success. Middle school revs students up for the rigorous writing they will be required to do in high school. Read on for expectations and writing assignments for your middle schooler.

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Overview of Writing in Middle School

All states have a standard curriculum, which their schools are required to follow. Most state agencies have the standards and expectations for each grade level posted on their website. Middle school language arts classes are modeled on these standards.

Middle school classes emphasize the reading-writing connection by tying together books being studied in class to writing lessons and research reports and projects. Additionally, teachers may use advertisements, newspapers and Internet resources for real-world writing assignments.

Middle school classrooms also teach writing techniques, such as the importance of audience, the use of dialogue, connotative and sensory language and parallel sentence structure. Middle school teachers may place an emphasis on revising pieces thoughtfully over time. However, your child will likely complete daily writing in the form of journals.

6th Grade Writing

In 6th grade, your child might be required to provide clear reasons, relevant evidence and credible sources to support his or her opinion. Your child might be assigned brief reports or short research projects that examine a topic or question. The research will draw on several sources and include relevant details, facts and quotations.

Other assignments might include reviewing and paraphrasing key ideas and multiple perspectives of various written works. Vocabulary assignments might include determining the correct meaning of a word based on the context in which it is used.

7th Grade Writing

In 7th grade, when writing an analysis of a book, essay, article or play, your child may have to cite several sources. Your child will also be focusing on organization and including supporting statements and conclusions with accurate and reliable evidence.

Writing assignments might include conducting research by drawing on evidence from several credible literary or informational sources to support an analysis or reflection. Your 7th grader will also learn how to follow a standard format for citations (e.g., footnotes or bibliography). Other writing assignments might reinforce using a rich and complex vocabulary.

8th Grade Writing

Writing assignments in 8th grade might focus on creating strong central ideas or points of view and supporting the ideas with sound reasoning and evidence. Your child will be expected to turn in assignments that use precise word choices, smooth transitions and different sentence structures. Your child will also be expected to use strong, active verbs to create a clear picture for the reader.

Assignments might include research reports and essays that analyze various forms of media, such as print, TV and websites. Your child will also be looking critically at the author's political, social or commercial motivations. Citing evidence that most strongly supports the analysis of a book, article, poem or play will be expected.

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