How Can You Use These Questions to Help You Assess Students’ Writing During the Planning Phase?


How Can You Use These Questions to Help You Assess Students’ Writing During the Planning Phase?

The planning phase is a crucial step in the writing process as it lays the foundation for a well-structured and coherent piece of writing. Assessing students’ writing during this phase can provide valuable insights into their understanding of the topic, their ability to organize their thoughts, and their overall writing skills. By asking appropriate questions, teachers can guide students towards effective planning and help them improve their writing abilities. This article will discuss how you can use these questions to assess students’ writing during the planning phase and provide a FAQ section at the end to address common queries.

1. What is your main idea or thesis statement?
Asking students to articulate their main idea or thesis statement helps assess their understanding of the topic and their ability to focus their writing. It allows you to determine whether they have a clear direction for their piece and if they can convey their intended message effectively.

2. What are the key points or arguments that support your main idea?
By asking students to identify the key points or arguments that support their main idea, you can evaluate their ability to generate relevant ideas and develop a logical structure. This question also enables you to gauge their critical thinking skills and their capacity to provide evidence to support their claims.

3. How will you organize your writing?
Assessing students’ understanding of different organizational structures is crucial during the planning phase. By asking this question, you can determine if students can effectively choose an appropriate organizational pattern, such as chronological, cause-effect, or compare-contrast. It also helps you evaluate their ability to create a coherent and cohesive piece of writing.

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4. What evidence or examples will you include to support your arguments?
Understanding how students plan to support their arguments with evidence or examples is essential in assessing their ability to provide strong and convincing support for their ideas. Asking this question allows you to evaluate their research skills, critical thinking, and ability to select appropriate evidence to strengthen their arguments.

5. How will you engage your reader and make your writing interesting?
Assessing students’ awareness of the importance of engaging the reader and making their writing interesting is crucial during the planning phase. By asking this question, you can evaluate their ability to use effective language, incorporate engaging anecdotes or examples, and create a compelling introduction or hook.

6. Have you considered the needs and expectations of your intended audience?
Understanding the intended audience is crucial in effective writing. By asking this question, you can assess students’ ability to tailor their writing to suit the needs and expectations of their target readers. It enables you to evaluate their awareness of appropriate tone, language, and level of formality.

7. How will you revise and edit your writing for clarity and coherence?
Assessing students’ understanding of the importance of revision and editing in the writing process is vital during the planning phase. Asking this question allows you to evaluate their ability to reflect on their writing, identify areas of improvement, and plan for revisions to enhance clarity and coherence.


Q1. How can I incorporate these questions into my assessment process?
A: You can incorporate these questions by either providing them as prompts for students to answer in writing or conducting one-on-one discussions to assess their planning process. You can also use rubrics aligned with these questions to evaluate their planning and provide feedback.

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Q2. Should I prioritize all these questions or focus on specific ones?
A: The prioritization of these questions depends on your learning objectives and the specific needs of your students. You can choose to focus on specific questions that align with your instructional goals or tailor them based on individual student needs.

Q3. Can these questions be used for different grade levels or writing genres?
A: Yes, these questions can be adapted to suit different grade levels and writing genres. Adjust the complexity of the questions and the expected level of detail based on the students’ abilities and the specific writing task.

Q4. How can I provide feedback based on these questions?
A: When providing feedback, focus on both strengths and areas for improvement based on students’ responses to these questions. Offer specific suggestions for revision and guide them towards enhancing their planning and writing skills.

In conclusion, using these questions during the planning phase can help you assess students’ writing abilities effectively. By evaluating their understanding of the main idea, organization, support for arguments, engagement of the reader, audience awareness, and revision/editing strategies, you can provide targeted feedback and guide them towards producing well-crafted and coherent pieces of writing. Remember to adapt these questions to suit your specific teaching context and the needs of your students.