The Writing Process, Part 1

Tips and Tricks

Examination Basics

Congratulations! You've reached the first written exam in your Penn Foster High School program! Whether you love to write or hate it with a passion, writing is a skill that is absolutely necessary for communication and one that we want to ensure you're equipped with in order to help you succeed and thrive in life after high school.


This particular examination will start you out small, with four short-answer questions and two paragraphs. As you move through the writing assignments, the requested responses will become longer and more involved, so you want to be sure you master the skills in this unit before moving on to the next.


Let's get started!

Writing Process, Part 1, Instruction Information

Question 1 - 10 points

Question one has two distinct parts. Be sure to respond to both.


Part A asks you to identify and write out the topic sentence of the given paragraph.


Part B asks you to identify and write out the sentence that is unrelated to the topic and can be eliminated.


(Remember to use the key words in the question to access the appropriate sections of your study unit!)

Question 2 - 10 points

Question two requires you to list FOUR things that you would look for during the proofreading process.


When you are writing out your four responses, take them one at a time and ask yourself, "Is _____ something I would LOOK FOR during proofreading?" If the answer is no, or if you're just not sure, you should probably revise that response. It's important, also, to distinguish between the editing/revision process and the proofreading process; they are separate and deal with different aspects of your writing.


As with any examination question, you want to be sure that you're responding to the question that's being asked.

Question 3 - 10 points

Question three has two distinct parts. Be sure to respond to both.


Part A asks you to to define the term cliche. If you opt to seek a definition outside of your study unit, be sure to cite it (the name of the source is enough). After all, it's never a good idea to claim someone else's words as your own.


Part B asks you to USE a cliche in a sentence that you have created. For this response, you want to choose a cliche and write a sentence that includes it; the sentence you write should demonstrate the meaning of the cliche. You should not list ONLY the cliche. Also, you should be sure you are using an actual cliche... and not simply the word cliche.

Question 4 - 10 points

Question four requires you to name and explain two different types of prewriting.


Before attempting to respond to this question, be sure that you understand what prewriting is... and what is accomplished during the prewriting phase of the writing process. Once you have this understanding, the question becomes much easier to answer.


When responding, be sure you are naming and explaining two processes.


When offering your explanations, be sure that you are describing each process so that a reader who is unfamiliar with the terminology and processes can comprehend the steps involved. Without a clear explanation of each process, the grading instructor cannot assume that you understand those processes.

Question 5 - 30 points

Question five asks you to choose one of six prompts and write a five-sentence paragraph using chronological order. You will need to establish a topic sentence to guide your paragraph, then provide supporting details that develop the topic you have chosen.


There are a few different key words in the instructions for this particular question. Don't forget to address each of them!

Question 6 - 30 points

Question six requires you to choose one of six prompts and write an eight-sentence paragraph that fully develops the topic you have chosen. Unlike question five, you will not need to establish a topic sentence for this paragraph, but you will need to use the topic sentence that is offered in the prompt. If you wish to alter the topic sentence, you are certainly permitted to do so (though you should avoid changing the overall idea); however, you will still need to include the topic sentence in your paragraph.


It is important to ensure that you are responding to the given prompt and writing from your experience.

Click to view a recorded webinar for this assignment!

(PLEASE NOTE: You'll need to download the presentation to view it in its entirety; otherwise, you will only be able to view the first 15 minutes.)

Final Thoughts...

It is in your best interest to utilize the tips and resources included above to help guide your examination answers. Also, we would ask you to always keep in mind that you have an entire team of dedicated instructors and teachers' assistants who are more than happy to help you... and who are just a telephone call or an email away!


Good luck and happy writing!