About WPP


Overview

Strong writing skills are key to a successful future. Pathways to Writing with WPP (Writing Practice Program) enables students in Grades 3 – 12 to work on their writing skills at their own pace, with individualized attention. This online program is available to students 24/7 from any computer with internet access, allowing students to challenge themselves either at home or in the classroom.


How WPP Works

After reviewing the grade-specific stimulus-based or non-stimulus prompt, students have the option to complete a prewriting exercise or begin writing their essay. Once students submit their essays, a score is instantly displayed that assesses their essay, provides feedback for each rubric trait, and directs students to appropriate tutorials. After reviewing tutorials, students have the option to return to their original essay, revise it, and resubmit it for a new score, or select a different prompt altogether.


Courses & Prompts

The WPP provides a direct measure of writing ability for courses covering Grades 3-12 with three different prompt genres for each course. Students may respond to Narrative, Informative/Explanatory, and Argumentative stimulus-based or non-stimulus prompts. Prompts are developed by staff and member school educators experienced in teaching and assessing writing. Prompts are crafted to elicit the best writing from students who come from a wide range of backgrounds and experiences. Different prompts are used for each course, and new prompts are introduced each year.


Scoring

Essays are scored using an analytical, computer scoring program based on a genre-specific six-trait, five-point rubric. Scores appear on-screen moments after essay submission and a graph indicates the score given in each of the six writing traits. Scores are maintained in an online portfolio, available to the student. The same scoring criteria are employed for each course. The scoring models have been verified to agree with human readers over 90 percent of the time.

Development of Ideas

Development centers on the presentation of additional supportive details and information pertinent to the topic. It is enhanced by specificity of word choice and a clear organizational structure.

Organization

Organization is characterized by an overall plan (coherence) and internal weaving together of ideas (cohesion). Organization is enhanced when a student pauses to develop ideas and is strengthened by the use of varied sentence structures and transitional techniques.

Style

Style includes the student’s ownership of the topic and connection with the audience. Style is enhanced through strong word choice and varied sentence constructions that contribute to the writer’s unique voice.

Sentence Structure

Sentence structure is enhanced through sentence complexity and variety and through skilled weaving together of different sentence formats to promote a smooth flow of ideas.

Word Choice

Word choice is enhanced through appropriate use of advanced vocabulary, precision and application.

Conventions

Conventions include grammar, usage, pronoun reference, consistency in number and person, and mechanics (spelling, capitalization, punctuation, and paragraphing). The same word misspelled multiple times is only counted as one error.

SCHOOL USE ONLY: Teacher-generated scores and feedback
Textual Evidence

Textual evidence refers to the support and details a student selects and uses from stimulus material, as well as the accuracy of the information conveyed.

Content Accuracy

Content refers to the student’s use of information and concepts gained from a specific lesson, group of lessons, or stimulus material in a specific subject area. The standards addressed will be specific to a particular content area.