EOC Prep

End of Course Exam Materials

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Expository Essay - English I

Remember: Expository means EXPLAIN!

The WRITE is the most important part of the prompt!

Graphic Organizer:

This graphic organizer is NOT the WHOLE enchilada, but it does have all of the juicy parts! Remember to get your reader's attention in the introduction, state your thesis (or your answer sentence to the prompt) and then give your evidence through concrete details and explanation. You will also need a few sentences to close out your essay.

Parts of the Graphic Organizer

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Thesis: The point you are trying to prove. If you are a given a prompt, try turning the prompt into a question. How you answer this question could be used as your THESIS.

Topic Sentence: Introduces your body paragraph AND states a reason why your THESIS is TRUE.

Concrete Detail: Gives an example/ fact of what you are proving or explaining.

Commentary: Sentences that explain your example.

Example 1:

  • Thesis: The state of Texas should raise the driving rate to eighteen.
  • Topic Sentence: Teenage drivers cause more accidents on the road than any other group of drivers.
  • Concrete Detail: In 2013, 2,163 teens in the United States ages 16–19 were killed and 243,243 were treated in emergency departments for injuries suffered in motor vehicle crashes.
  • Commentary: It is evident that if the driving rate is increased it would provide young teens more time to mature, and more time to become educated on how to operate a vehicle effectively and to make wise decisions behind the wheel of a vehicle. Increasing the driving age would in effect cause there to be more mature drivers on the roads and could possibly prevent the death toll on teen drivers from increasing.

Example 2:

  • Thesis: Taking action proves the severity of one's convictions, where words potentially may fall through.
  • Topic Sentence: If one does not follow through on one's beliefs, then the belief may be empty.
  • Concrete Detail: For example, the Belgium missionary, Father Damien, served a leper colony in the Hawaiian islands, and ultimately gave his own life for the cause of loving and serving the exiles in the colony.
  • Commentary: During his time in the leper colony he did what no one else would do. He lived among them, teaching them, hugging them, furthering his cause of love. Had Father Damien not lived and worked among the people he served, his message and beliefs would be held at a distance and would have not been as impactful to the people he sought to reach.
  • Closing sentence: Damien's convictions were as serious as the disease he contracted, thereby showing how much he cared for the lepers and how real his beliefs actually were.


Parts of a Short Answer:

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Remember to CAPE!

C = Circle important words in the question to repeat in your answer

A = Answer the question

P = Proof or text evidence to support your answer

E = Explain how your proof or text evidence proves or supports your answer

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Short Answer Rubric:

Score Point Rubric:

3- ž(Exemplary /Excellent)

Goes beyond CAPE

Contains an insightful answer with multiple examples of well, woven textual evidence
Shows a depth and complexity of understanding

2- ž(Sufficient)

clear/correct answer; uses words from question

textual evidence supports answer

textual evidence is embedded or introduced

the last sentence adds explanation and ties the answer and evidence together

1- (Partially Sufficient) ž

correct answer, but no textual evidence/quote

textual evidence does not support answer

žtextual evidence weakly supports answer

žtextual evidence is not embedded

the answer needs clearer explanation


does not clearly answer question

ž does not use words from the question in first sentence

ž first sentence contains textual evidence

answer is a fragment or an incorrect answer

Super Short Answers

Example Short Answer

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Answer to Question:

One theme presented in "The Gift of the Magi" is sacrificing items of value shows true love. In the story, Jim “explained that he had sold the watch to get the money to buy the combs.” This quote and Jim's actions show that he sacrificed his most valuable possession to buy his wife a comb. His sacrificial actions prove ultimately that he loves her.

This short answer has all parts. A. P. E. They embed their text evidence, explain their evidence, and give a correct answer!


Use your review sheet to practice writing short answer responses. If you need extra help, please see your teacher!


CSHS students! Click the link below to access additional EOC resources!

Need to brush up on EOC terminology?

Practice with these flashcard sets!


Expository Essay Rubric

Your expository essay will be graded over the following indicators:

- Development of Ideas

- Organization/ Progression

- Use of Language

- Conventions

Score 4- The composition asserts a focused, clearly stated thesis statement makes valid inferences to make important connections and distinctions develops and supports

the thesis with relevant, well-chosen facts, extended definitions, concrete details, or quotations appropriate to the audience.

Score 3- The composition asserts a topic with a thesis statement makes inferences to make connections and distinctions develops and supports the thesis with facts, extended definitions, concrete details, or quotations appropriate to the audience. originally answers the prompt; not formulaic

Score 2- The composition presents a topic with an unfocused or limited thesis statement

makes few inferences about ideas, concepts, and information making limited connections and distinctions contains insufficient or inappropriate facts, definitions, details, or quotations for the intended audience.

Score 1- The composition has weak or inappropriate inferences about ideas, concepts, and information contains insufficient, vague or inappropriate facts, definitions, details, or quotations does not respond to the prompt or demonstrates a lack of understanding of the prompt

Helpful Tips:

  • Plan your essay before you begin writing
  • Do not write outside the box!
  • Use TRANSITION WORDS to help your essay flow
  • Make sure you are using concrete details. The best essays will have concrete details that state facts or examples from history, current events, or literature.
  • Proof read!!!

Tasty Transition Words!

Click this link to check out some really useful transition words:


Common Attention Getters:

-Provide a quote that connects to the topic you are discussing

-Provide a startling statistic that connects to the topic you are discussing

-Give an analogy

Remember, you are trying to grab the reader's attention and then move into your THESIS statement!


Multiple Choice on the End of Course

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Multiple Choice:

Reading Multiple Choice:
  • Read the passage*
  • You may want to read the questions so you know what to expect
  • Annotate/ Highlight
  • Make notes in the margins
  • Answer the questions- pay close attention to references to specific paragraph #s.
  • Will have short answer questions based on the passages. (CAPE)
  • Use a dictionary

Writing Multiple Choice:

  • Read the passages*
  • Revising Questions- (improving ideas in the passage)
  • Editing Questions-(fixing mistakes in the passage
  • *You may only need to look at specific sentences to answer the questions. Pay close attention.
  • Use a dictionary

Revising vs. Editing Questions:


Revising means that you are improving the ideas in the passage (changing thesis, adding a sentence, combining sentences, etc.)

These questions might sound like…

·“John wants to add this detail to his paper. After which sentence should he add it?”

·“Steve wants to revise his thesis to make it more clear. Which thesis best articulates Steve’s message?”

Hints & Tips to Ace the Revising Questions:

·Read the ENTIRE passage – especially if there is a revising question about improving the thesis.

·The thesis is usually at the end of the opening paragraph – be sure to locate this, so you know what the paper is supposed to be about.

·Use your dictionary! You may be asked to replace specific words in the passage.

·Look for patterns. If you’re asked to add a detail somewhere, look for sentences that address a similar idea to the sentence you’re supposed to add.


Editing means that you are fixing mistakes in the passage (punctuation, spelling, capitalization, etc.).

These questions might sound like…

·“What change, if any, should be made…”

·“What is the correct way to write sentence 2?”

Hints & Tips to Ace the Editing Questions:

·Read the ENTIRE passage.

·Use your dictionary! If you’re unsure whether or not a word is spelled correctly, you have the answer right there!

·Immediately eliminate answers that your KNOW are wrong.

·Plug in each answer option one at a time, and see if it makes sense.

·Go back and reread the specific sentence before looking at the answer choices – see if you can spot the mistake before you even look at the answer choices.

·The answer is rarely “No change needs to be made”.

*notes by Mr. Phillips

Think of a pizza!

Revising would be moving around items on your pizza to your satisfaction. Working with proper materials you already have! Shifting the bacon, sausage, and pepperoni around so that it looks and tastes good!

Editing would be correcting mistakes...taking off peppers, adding olives, removing unwanted or incorrect ingredients.