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0006 Understand the Influence of Purpose and Audience
0007 Unity, Focus, and Development
0008 Apply Principles of Organization
0009 Sentence and Paragraph Construction
0010 Apply Correct Usage in Standard English
0011 Apply Knowledge of Mechanical Conventions
Practice Writing Tests
0012 Analyzing and Revising Sentences
0013 Produce a Written Summary
0014 Prepare an Organized, Developed Composition
Guidelines for Passing
Essay Skills
Determine the Purpose for Writing
Formulate a Thesis or Statement of Main Idea
Organize Ideas and Details Effectively
Provide Adequate, Relevant Supporting Material
Use Effective Transitions
Demonstrate a Mature Command of Language
Avoid Inappropriate Slang, Jargon, and Cliches
Use a Variety of Sentence Patterns Effectively
Maintain a Consistent Point of View
Practice Writing an Essay

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0014 Prepare a Developed Composition on a Given Topic Using Language Consistent with a Given Audience and Purpose

The Constructed-Response section of the Writing subtest also requires you to write an essay in addition to responding to short-answer items and writing a summary.

Since you have a total of four hours to complete both the Reading and Writing sections of the VCLA, you should allocate approximately 1-2 hours to complete the task of writing your essay. This is a guideline, however, and each writer should allocate his time accordingly depending on his strengths or weaknesses.

Each essay is evaluated immediately after each VCLA administration by at least two readers using a four-point score scale (see next page).

Graders will evaluate essays based on the following criteria:

Appropriateness: The extent to which the candidate addresses the topic and uses language and style appropriate to the given audience, purpose, and occasion.
Organization: The clarity of writing and the logical sequence of the candidate's ideas.
Focus and Unity: The clarity with which the candidate states and maintains focus on the main idea or point of view.
Development: The extent to which the candidate provides statements of appropriate depth, specificity, and/or accuracy.
Usage: The extent to which the candidate's writing shows care and precision in word choice and is free of usage errors.
Sentence Structure: The effectiveness of the sentence structure and the extent to which the sentences are free of structural errors.
Mechanical Conventions: The extent to which words are spelled correctly and the candidate follows the conventions of punctuation and capitalization.