CAA Options: Writing
Collection of Evidence
WERA Assessment Conference
Steve Pearse, Ed.D.
COE Writing Consultant
Winter 2006-2007
What is Writing?
• Writing is the learned process of shaping experiences
into text, allowing the writer to discover, develop,
clarify, and communicate thoughts and feelings.
• Writing requires students to express their knowledge
with purpose and coherence.
• To become effective writers, all students must
understand the role and interaction of topic, audience,
purpose and form.
Writing COE Work Samples
What constitutes the Collection of Evidence
for Writing?
– The Writing Collection must include at least:
• one expository on-demand essay (or letter)
• one persuasive on-demand essay (or letter)
• two expository non-timed essays (or letters)
• two persuasive non-timed essays (or letters)
– Of the 6-8 writing samples, 3—including both ondemand samples—may not include adult assistance
beyond setting the prompt and the parameters for an
effective paper.
Writing COE Work Samples
Writing Collection Guidelines, continued…
• The entire collection must be comparable in rigor in skill
and content to the 10th grade Writing WASL.
• The collection must include 6-8 samples that, taken
together, demonstrate proficiency in idea development,
organization, style, and the use of conventions.
• All samples must include evidence of the student’s use of
the writing process by submitting process documents OR
by providing explanations of process.
Writing COE Work Samples
Writing COE connections to the WASL…
• The 10th grade Writing section of the WASL features two
“prompts,” one eliciting an expository response (to
explain), and one eliciting a persuasive response.
• Each writing prompt clearly states a designated topic,
audience, purpose (mode), and form.
• Each WASL Writing response is scored for Content,
Organization & Style (COS) and for Conventions
Writing COE Work Samples
Student-produced, connected-text expository or
persuasive work samples may take the form of a:
• classroom assignment
• special extended or amended project
• joint assignment/project shared between two
content-area classes
• response to a teacher- and/or student-selected task
or prompt
Writing COE Work Samples
Expository Writing: To Explain
Key Qualities of Effective Expository Writing:
narrowed topic, focus (idea)
well-chosen details
logical organizational pattern
transitions to connect ideas
topic commitment (Voice)
introduction and conclusion
Writing COE Work Samples
Sample Student Work:
Expository Task and Response
[This essay appears exactly as it was written by the student.]
Prompt: Write a personal essay entitled
“The Thing I Carry.” You must show the
reader what you carry and why you carry
it. Your only requirement is to use
“SHOW” writing and to be as honest as
possible (without having to reveal
anything that might make you
uncomfortable). Write about the “stuff”
you lug around with you in your life!
Writing COE Work Samples
The Thing I Carry
Some people carry guilt. Some people carry
envy. Some people carry sorrow and pain and
sickness and hatred. I carry a secret. I carry a
secret that no one should have to bear.
Most people would tell you about the loving,
meaningful relationships that they share with
their fathers. I listen to the stories of deep
conversation and heartfelt, tender moments with
no picture in my mind of what that would be like.
My father terrified me as a child. He never hit me.
He never so much as raised a hand to me, but
yet, I did everything in my power to avoid him.
Nothing ever pleases my father. I doubt anything
ever will…
Writing COE Work Samples
The Thing I Carry, continued
…I remember that day quite clearly. I remember
the smooth, cool touch of the kitchen counter
under my shaking fingers in the dimly lit dining
room at my step dad’s house. I remember the
darkness outside the window as the night
devoured the day-blue sky. I remember the grieftinged voice of my mother saying, “He’s been
doing marijuana ever since you were born.” My
heart collapsed. While I never dreamed that my
dad and I could ever repair our broken
relationship, I still felt blackness in the part of me
that still loved him. The part of me that felt
betrayed, abandoned, ripped open and left
bleeding. I lost all respect for him…
Writing COE Work Samples
The Thing I Carry, continued
…I won’t pretend that things are magically better.
I’ve run away twice from his house when it was
apparent that drugs and alcohol were going to
turn our father into something we didn’t want to
see. But I have tried to make a difference. I look
him in the eye when he talks to me. I answer
when he asks me a question. When he says, “I
love you,” I say, “I love you too Dad.” This secret
I will carry with me for as long as my life allows it.
But I also carry new hope and a new peace that
not all is lost. And someday, maybe, I will carry
the love and acceptance for my father that I know
he carries for me.
Writing COE Work Samples
Persuasive Writing:
topic or issue clearly stated
a clear, consistent position
more than one supporting argument
detailed supporting evidence
anticipating & refuting opposing arguments
a clear, logical organizational strategy
transitions to connect position, arguments, and evidence
persuasive language & techniques
conclusion with a call for action
Writing COE Work Samples
Sample Student Work:
Persuasive Task and Response
[This essay is taken from the OSPI web site and appears on the Social Studies page
under Classroom Based Assessment. This writing sample was written by a
Washington State high school student and appears exactly as it was written.]
PROMPT: Citizens in a democracy have the
right and responsibility to make informed
decisions. You will make an informed decision
on a public issue after researching and
discussing different perspectives on this issue.
paper or presentation, you will…
Writing COE Work Samples
Constitutional Issues: Civics
More likely than not you have heard of
California’s three-strike law. Though more than half
the states have developed some form of the threestrikes method, California’s law is particularly strict
in that although the first two strikes must qualify as
serious felonies, the crime that triggers the 25 years
to life sentencing can be any felony, even a nonviolent one…Are punishments bearing a realistic
relationship to the seriousness of the actual crime?
As a result, are offenses being judged too harsh or
Writing COE Work Samples
Constitutional Issues: Civics, continued
…Talk to some people and they may argue that
this is the toughest criminal law of the land and
violates our rights as American citizens. Others
firmly support it and claim that this system is
establishing justice reasonably and fairly and has
been nothing but effective and beneficial to our
country. Simply put, the answers will vary
depending on whom you ask. The three-strike law
of California is justified because it stops career
criminals, recognizes the severity of a nonviolent
offense, and reduces crime.
Writing COE Work Samples
Constitutional Issues: Civics, continued
…With all the commotion and controversy regarding what
qualifies as a third strike, nonviolent felonies have a tendency
to be pushed aside. “I’m not a killer. I’m not a rapist. I should
be doing three years for a petty theft…because I didn’t kill
anybody. I didn’t hurt anybody,” says Leandro Andrade, a 44
year-old man who was given two life-sentences for stealing
nine children’s video tapes from K-MART…It is certainly true
courts should take into consideration the severity of the crime,
but they should not bas it simply on whether it was violent or
nonviolent. Ask any victim who has had their
home or
shop broken into and ransacked—they feel violated and
disrespected, regardless of whether or not a weapon was
Writing COE Work Samples
Constitutional Issues: Civics, continued
…Criminal acts throughout the United States have been
escalating with the hassles, stress, and hectic nature of our
daily demanding lives… With California’s three-strike law, we
can virtually eliminate repeat criminal offenders and, as proven
in recent studies, drastically reduce crime and violence. Those
who feel that their privacy or safety has been violated will
finally be taken seriously. The law is clear and straightforward:
commit three felonies and spend 25 years to life in prison.
That should be enough motivation for people to change their
destructive lifestyles. To me, the only thing more alarming than
a 25-year old serving a life sentence under the three-strike law
is to know that there are people out there who actually feel
sorry for him.
Writing COE Work Samples
What is NOT a work sample for the Writing
• Group project writing assignments
• An independent piece of work that the teacher has never seen
• Narratives, poetry, scripts
• Writing samples with non-connected text (e.g., résumés, directions
or recipes, bulleted brochures)
• Writing samples with displayed grades or teacher comments that
provide specific direction aimed at text improvement
• Scoring guides/rubrics from district or classroom assessments
• Final drafts written in pencil
Writing COE Work Samples
Essential characteristics…
Writing work samples must:
• be limited to demonstrations of expository or persuasive
• include a copy of the writing task or prompt
• include evidence of the student’s use of the writing
• indicate whether the student-writer has received
adult assistance, as per Writing COE guidelines
• be completed under a teacher’s supervision
Writing COE Work Samples
What are additional important components of
Writing work samples?
• They should demonstrate integrity. The teacher selects prompts or
helps students develop tasks that pose significant questions or
address authentic topics, or raise important issues.
• They should be free of bias, providing parameters that allow all
students to demonstrate their actual writing skills.
• They should be valid, aligned to the expository or persuasive
writing Checklists and Essential Learnings.
• They should be reliable. If a student were to complete a writing
work sample more than once, he or she should be able to
demonstrate the same type and quality of performance each time.
Writing COE Work Samples
How do I adjust my classroom assignments to
meet the COE Writing guidelines?
• Create work samples using the COE Writing
template. The template will guide you in selecting
or devising appropriate writing prompts or tasks.
• Modify and clarify existing classroom
assignments in the language of writing prompts or
tasks, the expectations and parameters for student
work, and the Writing Guidelines and expository
or persuasive text Checklists.
Writing COE Work Samples
Writing Collection of Evidence Template
Adult Assistance: Yes No
Extended Time?
Student Explanation?
Writing Process
Prompt or Classroom Assignment (Task):
[topic, audience, purpose + form]
Task Parameters (directions):
Writing COE Work Samples
What are the steps for building
an effective Writing work sample?
• Select the writing mode—expository or
persuasive— you want to assess;
• Make sure that the writing task or prompt
specifies an appropriate topic, audience,
purpose, and form;
• Decide if you want to create a new work
sample or modify, clarify, augment, extend,
or revisit an existing classroom
assignment; Writing COE Work Samples
What are the steps for building an
effective Writing work sample (continued)
• Make sure that the Writing content and skills match
grade level skills, knowledge, and complexity;
• Use the Writing Checklist language to word the task
or prompt;
• Clearly state the criteria expected in the student
response (task parameters);
Writing COE Work Samples
What are the steps for building a Writing
work sample? (continued)
• Provide specific Guidelines- and Checklist-driven
language (see Template) to frame tasks or
Form (essay or letter)
Writing COE Work Samples
What are the steps to building a Writing
work sample? (continued)
Specify “must have” student directions to
demonstrate effective writing skills…
– Clearly state and elaborate on ideas;
– Organize the writing, providing an appropriate
introduction, supporting paragraphs, and conclusion;
– Use language appropriate for audience and purpose;
– Incorporate a variety of sentence lengths and structures;
– Establish and maintain a voice suitable for audience and
– Follow the rules of Standard English, the conventions
of writing.
Writing COE Work Samples
Two kinds of Writing work samples:
• Students complete work completely on their own in a supervised
classroom setting
• Supervising teacher provides the prompt or task
• Student is to have no prior awareness of the prompt or task
• No adult assistance is permitted
• A single allotted time period (time for student revision included in
this time); 90+ minutes recommended
• “On-Demand” responses serve as touchstones for the student’s
additional Writing work samples
Writing COE Work Samples
Two kinds of Writing work samples:
“Extended Time”:
• Supervising teacher and/or student may provide the prompt or task
• Work is produced across an extended period of time (i.e., more
than one sitting)
• No adult assistance is permitted on at least three of the 6-8 work
samples, including both “On-demand” pieces
• When adult assistance is provided, it should be limited to general
comments (e.g., “You need to check for spelling errors”)
Writing COE Work Samples
How are Writing work samples scored?
Sufficiency: each work sample must meet the requirements
of the Writing content guidelines:
(See p. 17, CAA Options Collection of Evidence booklet.)
• 6-8 separate work samples, addressing expository and persuasive writing
purposes (modes) as per guidelines
• A completed “Student Information Form” for the writing collection
• A completed “Work Sample Documentation Form” for the collection
• A completed “Work Sample Sign-off Form” for each sample of work
Writing COE Work Samples
How are Writing work samples scored?
Proficiency: Taken as a whole, work samples are scored
for proficiency (level of skill with respect to WASL
expectations), with scores generated across writing
expository and persuasive modes.
The Expository and Persuasive Writing Checklists
(See p. 20, CAA Options Collection of Evidence booklet)
specify assessed knowledge and skills.
Writing COE Work Samples
Where can I obtain Writing work samples?
• Develop them for your specific
classroom/content area;
• Work on a district or state committee to write
work samples;
• Go to the CAA Options web page on the OSPI
website ( and download the
writing template;
• Use the writing instructional modules as initial
work samples that may need to be modified,
clarified, augmented, extended or revisited in
order to meet the requirements.
Writing COE Work Samples
Conclusions about Writing work samples
• Make tasks or prompts authentic, relevant, and accurate;
• Address issues of integrity, bias and fairness, validity, and
reliability as you develop tasks and prompts;
• Modify, clarify, augment, extend, and/or revisit classroom
assignments to create new tasks or prompts;
• Ensure grade-level appropriateness (topic, audience, purpose);
• Use the Writing Checklist language to frame tasks or prompts;
• State specific criteria necessary for credit;
• Address both required modes—expository and persuasive
writing—as described in the Content Guidelines.
Writing COE Work Samples
Contact Information for the Writing COE
If you have questions concerning the Writing COE, please contact the OSPI
staff listed below. They are happy to offer assistance.
• Steve Pearse, Ed.D. COE Writing Consultant (360) 725-6037
• Sharon Schilperoort, Language Arts TOSA (360) 725-4979
• Lesley Klenk, Ph.D. CAA Options Administrator (360) 725-6330
• Amanda Mount, CAA Options Analyst (360) 725-6037
• Joe Willhoft, Ph.D. Assistant Superintendent for Assessment &
Research (360) 725-6336
Writing COE Work Samples

Developing work samples for the Collection of Evidence