Texas has put a great emphasis on writing skills at all levels of school and all levels of state-wide testing. Ready Writing, a contest for students in grades 3,4,5,6,7 and 8, builds upon those skills and helps students refine their writing abilities. In particular, this contest helps them to learn to write clearly and correctly a paper that is interesting and original.
Students may use electronic or printed dictionaries and thesauruses.
Contestants are given a choice between two prompts which defines the audience and provides the purpose for writing. Students should be encouraged to analyze the prompts for the purpose of writing, the format, the audience and the point of view. The format may be, for example, a letter, an article for the newspaper or an essay for the principal. Various writing strategies may be stated or implied in the prompt. Some of these include:
- description to inform -- describe the happening or person/object from imagination or memory;
- narration -- write a story;
- persuasion -- describe and argue just one side of an issue; describe both sides of an issue then argue only one side; write an editorial; write a letter to persuade, etc.
There is no minimum or a maximum number of words the contestants must write.
Sample Writing Prompts
Instructions: Select only one of the topics which follow. Write the topic you have chosen at the top of your paper. Remember not to use your name or any reference to your school in your composition.
Third and Fourth Grades
- Careers: Your class is studying careers and the types of jobs that you and your friends may have when you're older. Write a paper about the kind of job you would like to have and why you think it would be interesting.
- Watching TV: Your parents are deciding how much you should be allowed to watch television each week, and which shows you should be allowed to watch. Write a letter to your parents to let them know what you would like them to decide.
- And the best part is...: While students sometimes complain about school or homework, most have a favorite class, activity or teacher. Write a paper describing what you like best about school and why.
- Friends are like stars: Someone has said "Friends are like stars. You can't always see them, but you know they are there." Write a paper explaining why you feel good friends are important.
- Unusual Pets: You just read a story about a little boy who had a pig as a pet. Write a paper about an unusual pet (no cats or dogs) you would like to own and how you would take care of the pet.
- Homework: There is a saying that "practice makes perfect." Doing homework is practicing what you learn in class, but sometimes it takes a lot of time to do. Write a paper about your experiences with homework.