Tips for A.W.E. Preparation

Tips for A.W.E. Preparation

THE A.W.E. INFORMATION WORKSHOP PURPOSE OF THE A.W.E. (ASSESSMENT OF WRITTEN ENGLISH) The purpose of the A.W.E. is to place a student into the writing course where the student has the best chance of success. Students do not pass or fail the A.W.E.. ENGLISH COURSES AT MT. SAC Your AWE score determines where you begin the progression of English courses at Mt. SAC

AWE ESL LERN 81 AMLA 41W ENGLISH 67 AMLA 42W ENGLISH 68 AMLA 43W

ENGLISH 1A ENGLISH 1B / ENGLISH 1C / LIT HOW THE A.W.E. WORKS The placement test generally takes place in the Assessment Center (Student Services Center) A student can choose to use a computer (which has no spell or grammar check) or pen and paper to write. This is a 45-minute timed writing test. A student chooses one of the topic options given. A student completes the online Student Success Inventory. The information on this survey can be used to place students in an appropriate class.

Assessment Center Two or more A.W.E. Readers will score the writing sample to determine a placement. Placement results will be available in 24-72 hours at BEFORE THE DAY OF ASSESSMENT Read over the A.W.E. writing samples on the Assessment Center website. Look at the criteria the readers use to score your writing Do a timed writing practice at home and bring it in to a Writing Center tutor for revision. Practice prompts are also provided on the Assessment Center website.

CRITERIA TO DETERMINE PLACEMENT: Reader Compensation & Comprehensibility Organization Development Reasoning & Ideas Language PREPARING FOR THE ASSESSMENT Even though you only have 45 minutes to write, plan to spend one hour and a half total time at the test location so that you have enough time to find parking and test location (Bldg. 9B).

DURING ASSESSMENT THINGS TO AVOID Dictionaries, translators, and other outside resources are not allowed. Please silence and put away all cell phones and other electronic devices. DURING ASSESSMENT MANAGING YOUR TIME Use the following chart to determine general guidelines for how long to spend on each part of the writing process. Choosing a ? (1 minute) Brainstorming (4 minutes) Organizing (3 minutes) Writing (30 minutes)

Revising (5 minutes) Re-reading (2 minutes) CHOOSING A TOPIC You will have a few questions to select from. Pick only one. Select the topic that will allow you to give an example of your best writing. CHOOSING A TOPIC Read the entire prompt and keep all the parts in mind as you write. You will then have an opportunity to ask questions related to them. Your questions must be for clarification of topics only.

You should read the prompt more than once and: Underline key words Circle unfamiliar vocabulary BRAINSTORMING AND ORGANIZING You should write a thesis (main idea) that responds to the: prompt (writing topic) previews your main points Your piece of writing needs a strong topic and focus. Think about this in advance. You may use the scratch paper given to brainstorm or create an outline. While there is no required length, you should

write enough to address all points in the topic completely. WRITING AND REVISING Make sure the writing: Addresses all parts of the prompt Develops one main idea/thesis Includes specific examples and details

Has a clear beginning and ending Demonstrates good critical thinking RE-READING AND EDITING Finally, read what you wrote. Look for places that need punctuation that are not clear that need more precise words Editing in all these areas can make a difference in being placed higher or lower. ENGLISH 1A PLACEMENT SAMPLE Many people play a sport. You might have played soccer, tennis, basketball, or ping pong, informally with friends or

formally as part of a team. Discuss the positive effects this experience has had on your life. Focus on this sports lasting effects. ONE PATTERN TO GUIDE YOU AS YOU WRITE YOUR COMPOSITION I. Introductory Paragraph A. Hook to catch the readers attention B. Main idea of paper II. Narrative Paragraph(s) A. Focus on key parts to your story that connect to the analysis

B. Present events in the order they occurred C. Use evidence, examples, and/or details that appeal to the different senses (sight, sound, smell, taste, touch) III. Analysis Paragraph(s) A. Analyze the key events in the story as they relate to the prompt B. Explain the significance of the story C. Circle back to the hook to suggest significance of conclusion ANOTHER PATTERN YOU MAY BE FAMILIAR WITH: THE BASIC ESSAY** I. Introductory Paragraph

A. Hook to catch the readers attention B. Main idea of paper II. Body Paragraphs A. Focus on one point per paragraph B. Use evidence, examples, and/or details to support your points III. Conclusion Paragraph A. One sentence summary of thesis B. Review of main points C. Circle back to your hook to suggest significance of conclusion **Please see the Writing Center MEAL handout and The Five Paragraph Essay for additional clarification.** COMPOSITION PLANNING TIPS Use a hook to grab the readers attention in the introduction

paragraph. ** Write a main idea/thesis that previews your main points. ex: Successful college students use time management strategies, attend classes regularly, and work diligently on their assignments. Focus on writing topic sentences that generally cover the points in each body paragraph (if you have more than one). ** Use transition words and phrases within and between the paragraph(s). ** Conclude your essay by referencing the hook and reemphasizing the thesis/main idea. ** **Please see the Writing Centers Introductions, The Burger Approach, Transitions, Conclusions, Paragraphing: The MEAL Plan, and The Five Paragraph Essay handouts ENGLISH 1A PLACEMENT SAMPLE Many people play a sport. You might

have played soccer, tennis, basketball, or ping pong, informally with friends or formally as part of a team. Discuss the positive effects this experience has had on your life. Focus on this sports lasting effects. ENGLISH 1A PLACEMENT RESPONSE At six years of age, ice hockey became my sport of focus. From skating lessons to shooting drills, passing drills to checking drills and learning the rules of the game, I worked extremely hard to accomplish my goal of becoming an all-around hockey playerpushing myself harder and harder every practice just so it paid off when I had that extra step to go around a defender and score the winning goal. Ice hockey has been

a lot more than just a sport; it has helped me in life on many occasions such as when my mother passed away, when handed drugs I was smart enough to pass, or even after breaking up with a girl I really liked. Playing hockey has provided me with a team environment where I can set high standards and goals which I fully intend to meet. In the case of my mom passing away, hockey gave me a place to go and have fun, talk to people, and even let some suppressed aggression out. If I ever felt depressed, the hockey rink was a perfect place because I had many friends there to have fun with. I could talk to other parents that were kind of like parents to me too. Out on the ice, taking out aggression was no issue since checking is a legal part of the game. When the topic of drugs came to pass, there was no possible way because the goals I set for myself couldn't be

accomplished if I weren't in the correct state of mind. Hockey is a very demanding sport physically and mentally so I needed to be on my toes at all times. Laziness and depression would just stand in my way of reaching those high standards and goals. Trying my best at all times got me into semi-pro leagues and I still continue on my dream to play professionally. Break-ups were always a pain, especially if you are emotionally attached. This is where hockey again plays a huge part in my life to help me not think of that person and get over the situation that much quicker. Again, there is checking in ice hockey so any aggression that might have been felt was appropriately dealt with. Hockey provided a great learning and caring environment in which I could do my absolute best while getting over personal problems that I carried at the time. To conclude, hockey has provided a great learning and caring

environment in which I could do my absolute best while getting over personal problems that I carried at the time. Without this sport, I know that I would not be as physically and emotionally fit as I am today. ANALYZING THE ESSAY What is the main idea of this essay? What do you notice about the organization? What does the writer do to develop the ideas? What do you notice about the language in this piece? Are there any places where you had to guess what the writer meant? What does the writer do to demonstrate critical analysis? PRACTICE

What was the worst kind of work you ever did? This might have been anything: a paying job, household or school-related chores, or volunteer work. Describe the work, explain why you found it unpleasant, and discuss ways that would have made it more satisfying. ANALYZING YOUR RESPONSE What did you do first? How did you organize your response? Did you answer (or plan to) all parts of the prompt? Do you have a clear main idea?

Have you supported it with specific examples? How did you begin and end your writing? KEY ISSUES FOR PLACEMENT IN AMLA COURSES Verb Forms Subject-verb Agreement Verb Tense Shift Writing Center Resources Directed Learning Activities Tenses

Adjective Clauses Subject-Verb Agreement Workshops Verbs Boot Camp Writing Boot Camp Computer Lab FEG Interactive computer program in the lab Writers Resources computer program in the lab Tutoring

KEY ISSUES FOR PLACEMENT IN LERN AND ENGLISH 67 COURSES Verb Tense Shift Fragments, Comma Splices, and Run-ons Writing Center Resources Directed Learning Activities

Paragraph Writing Subject-Verb Agreement Commas Fragments Comma Splices and RunOns Tutoring Workshops Developing your Sentence Style

Fixing Fragments, Run-Ons, and Comma Splices Plan your Essay in Three Easy Steps Keys to Better Paragraphs Computer Lab Writers Resources computer program in the KEY ISSUES FOR PLACEMENT IN ENGLISH 68 AND 1A COURSES Level of Detail Analysis

Writing Center Resources Directed Learning Activities Paragraph Writing Thesis Statements Analytical and Persuasive Thesis Statements Outlining the Essay Transitions Tutoring Computer Lab

Writers Resources computer program in the lab Workshops Plan your Essay in Three Easy Steps Easy Steps to a Great Thesis Keys to Better Paragraphs PLAN OF ACTION What are three things you will do to prepare for the assessment? Create specific goals

How will you accomplish these goals? DO YOUR BEST! Show us everything you know about writing. Mt. SAC wants to place you in an English course where you will be successful. You may wait three months to retake the test if you are not pleased with the results. You can do it! QUESTIONS AND SURVEY Before leaving, please take a moment to fill out the Writing Center Workshop survey.

It is located under Favorites on your Internet toolbar. The workshop is titled AWE Workshop. Dont forget to take any helpful handouts on your way out! HELPFUL RESOURCES Assessment Center Office: Student Services Center (909) 594-5611, ext.4265 Office Hours: 8 a.m. - 7 p.m. Mon. - Thu. / 8 a.m. - 4:30 p.m. Fri. Mt. SACs Assessment Center Website http://www.mtsac.edu/assessment/ Mt. SACs Writing Center Website http://www.mtsac.edu/ writingcenter/ Mt. SACs Language Learning Center (Bldg. 6, rm. 264)

http://www.mtsac.edu/instruction/continuinged/noncredi t/esl/learning_resources/language_learning_center.html Learning Assistance Center Lab (Bldg. 6) http://lac.mtsac.edu WEBSITES FOR GRAMMAR AND WRITING

http://grammar.ccc.commnet.edu/grammar/ http://owl.english.purdue.edu/owl/ http://grammarbook.com/ http://chompchomp.com/menu.htm http://grammar.quickanddirtytips.com/ http://minnesota.publicradio.org/radio/podcasts/ grammar_grater/ http://www.dartmouth.edu/~writing/materials/student/ humanities/write.shtml http://www.suu.edu/hss/english/writingcenter/ tipsheets.html http://writing.colostate.edu/guides/

http://leo.stcloudstate.edu/catalogue.html WEBSITES FOR NON-NATIVE ENGLISH WRITERS Grammar http://www.englishclub.com/grammar/ http://www.englishpage.com/verbpage/verbtenseintro.html http://web2.uvcs.uvic.ca/courses/elc/studyzone/200/grammar/ http://www.manythings.org/rs/ http://www.bbc.co.uk/worldservice/learningenglish/grammar/ grammar_challenge/index.shtml http://www.englishpractice.com/ http://a4esl.org/q/h/ http://www.chompchomp.com/menu.htm

Writing http://www.paragraphpunch.com/ http://owl.english.purdue.edu/ THE A.W.E. INFORMATION WORKSHOP IS SUPPORTED BY: The Mt. SAC Assessment Center The Mt. SAC Writing Center A.W.E. Facilitators from AMLA and English Depts. The Mt. SAC Matriculation & Assessment Committee Mt. SAC High School Outreach Title V Grant

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