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Mastering the Grade 7 Writing TEKS: A Writer's Workbook and Guide to the TAKS incorporates techniques for developing writing skills and nurturing student creativity, derived from several scientific, research-based studies.

The book begins by explaining to students what the traits of excellent writing are, empowering them to improve their writing. These traits of good writing are carefully aligned to the rubric published by the Texas Education Agency (TEA) and used to score compositions on the TAKS. This rubric forms the basis of the first unit of the book, in which students learn about focus and coherence, organization, the development of ideas, voice, and writing conventions. Each chapter explains one of the traits of the TEA rubric and provides guided practice for students to improve their skills and creativity.

Students learn how to use the freedom allowed on the seventh-grade TAKS writing test without taking a formulaic approach.

Students are shown how to develop their ideas with supporting details. They are also shown various ways of organizing their composition and are provided with a menu of choices for grabber leads (introductions) and strong conclusions.

Students are encouraged to think about writing style in order to develop their own authentic voice. Students carefully consider word choice, imagery, sentence patterns, parallelism, and special effects such as dialect.

The second unit, The Writing Process, provides students with the key steps of the writing process, with specific hints and practice exercises for generating ideas and making pre-writing plans in response to a TAKS-style writing prompt.

The third unit of the book provides guided practice in writing for different purposes, including writing to express, to inform, to entertain, and to persuade - with hints, sample writing models, and practice exercises for each.

The fourth unit guides students through peer editing. Students review the main principles of good organization, sentence construction, usage and mechanics, while they are provided with practice paragraphs to edit.

The book concludes with a complete practice test, consisting of a writing prompt and a peer editing exercise.

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