Breaking Down the Open-Ended Questions
- There are nearly ALWAYS
multiple parts to each open-ended question - make sure you answer each part!
- The questions often
have a stem (explanation of the situation) and bullet points (several
questions related to the stem).
- Each bullet will
probably require a different kind of answer.There
are different types of writing that you may be asked to do, so READ THE
- Literal questions
(text-based or "in the book") ask you to provide specific information from the text. If it is asking you to explain the main ideas/points of
the reading, find multiple details and examples that show the main point.
questions (thought-based or "in your
head") ask you to come up with an answer that cannot be found in the story,
but which requires you to use details from the story to help you explain how
you arrived at your answer.
If it is asking for your opinion, provide it and back it up.
page/paragraph numbers in your response, because sometimes your proof isn't
written as though it's proof. This shows that you are, in fact, using
specific details from the text.
- Be aware of plurals
("give examples", "provide details") - you have to give MORE THAN ONE.
- Sometimes the
question will not be separated into stem-and-leaves; it may simply be written
as a paragraph.
- Mark up the
question, breaking it down into sections.
- Number each part of
the question; when you are done writing, make sure you answered each number by
checking it off.
- Try to put what is
in your head on the paper - explain your thought process.
writings that got different scores
Here's how you get a 3 out of 4...
Here's how you go beyond a 3
4 Point Rubric