Mass.gov
Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education
Go to Selected Program Area
Massachusetts State Seal
Students & Families Educators & Administrators Teaching, Learning & Testing Data & Accountability Finance & Funding About the Department Education Board  
>
>
>
>
>
>
>
>
>
>
>
>

>
 
 
 
 

Curriculum and Instruction

Writing Standards in Action Project

Educators, parents, and students often ask, "What does good student writing at this grade level look like?" The answer lies in the writing itself.

All students can meet high standards. The Massachusetts Curriculum Frameworks outline content and skill expectations at each grade level. The Writing Standards in Action Project illustrates what performance to grade-level expectations looks like in student work. The Project presents examples of high-quality student writing with annotations that highlight how each piece meets or exceeds learning standards at its grade level. The annotated samples are designed to support teachers, administrators, families, and students in improving instruction and student writing.

Writing Samples

The student writing samples below represent a range of grade levels and content areas and were written for a variety of tasks, audiences, and purposes. When possible, the annotated samples include information about the assignment and teaching strategies that elicited the writing. Writers come from Massachusetts public schools in urban, suburban, and rural districts across the state.

All samples are authentic and unedited student work. Accordingly, they may contain inaccuracies in wording and content or shortcomings in the use of standard English conventions. Samples were submitted by teachers and administrators for review and selection by panels of Massachusetts educators with expertise in writing instruction and evaluation.

When you select an icon in the table below, links to annotated and unmarked versions of the relevant sample(s) will appear above the table.

Text Types and PurposesGrade KGrade 1Grade 2Grade 3 Grade 4Grade 5Grade 6Grade 7Grade 8Grade 9Grade 10Grade 11Grade 12
Opinion/Argument View Opinion Argument Samples - Grade K View Opinion Argument Samples - Grade 1 View Opinion Argument Samples - Grade 2 View Opinion Argument Samples - Grade 3 View Opinion Argument Samples - Grade 4 View Opinion Argument Samples - Grade 5 View Opinion Argument Samples - Grade 6 View Opinion Argument Samples - Grade 7 View Opinion Argument Samples - Grade 8
Inform/Explain View Inform/Explain Samples - Grade K View Inform/Explain Samples - Grade 1 View Inform/Explain Samples - Grade 2 View Inform/Explain Samples - Grade 3 View Inform/Explain Samples - Grade 4 View Inform/Explain Samples - Grade 5 View Inform/Explain Samples - Grade 6 View Inform/Explain Samples - Grade 7 View Inform/Explain Samples - Grade 8
Narrate View Narrate Samples - Grade K View Narrate Samples - Grade 1 View Narrate Samples - Grade 2 View Narrate Samples - Grade 3 View Narrate Samples - Grade 4 View Narrate Samples - Grade 5 View Narrate Samples - Grade 6 View Narrate Samples - Grade 7 View Narrate Samples - Grade 8 View Narrate Samples - Grade 10 View Narrate Samples - Grade 12

Get Involved!

The Writing Standards in Action Project is always seeking new samples of student work from all grades and subject areas. In 2017-2018, the Project is especially interested in work that:

  • Represents the early grades (pre-K-2) or high school (grades 9-12)
  • Represents non-ELA content areas (e.g., science, history, the arts)
  • Effectively integrates information from a set of print or digital texts
  • Effectively blends modes of writing (e.g., argument and narrative)
  • Effectively incorporates multimedia (e.g., visual) elements into writing

The Project also seeks educators with expertise in the teaching and assessment of writing to serve as reviewers of student work submissions. Panels of reviewers convene for full-day meetings at Fitchburg State University several times each school year. Reimbursement for travel expenses and substitute teachers is provided.

For more information or to submit student work samples, please contact Rachel Bradshaw or David Buchanan. To provide feedback on the Project or its materials, please send comments to writingstandardsinaction@doe.mass.edu.



Last Updated: July 26, 2017
E-mail this page| Print View| Print Pdf  
Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education Search·Public Records Requests · A-Z Site Index · Policies · Site Info · Contact ESE