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For the Teacher For the Teacher:
    Response to the English Placement Test Topic
    Developed by the CWP Design Team



What components comprise an EPT essay topic? What are the variations in the formats of the EPT essay topics?

What does a teacher need to know about the differences between the Subject A exam passage and prompt and the English Placement Test essay topics?

Are there ways for teachers to create units that will naturally create opportunities for students to write to both a Subject A exam prompt and an EPT prompt?



What components comprise an EPT essay topic? What are the variations in the formats of the EPT essay topics?

  1. Essay Topic: Breaking Traditions
  2. Many adults become upset when young people break with the traditions of the past. Do you think that these adults are justified in reacting this way? Why or why not? Support your position with evidence from your own experience or the experience of people you know.

    Invitation:
    Many adults become upset when young people break with the traditions of the past. Do you think that these adults are justified in reacting this way? Why or why not?

    Stipulation:
    Support your position with evidence from your own experience or the experience of people you know.

    To write to this essay topic, students again are directed to develop their essay with examples from their personal experience.

  3. Essay Topic: Rebellion
  4. Some people claim that a little rebellion now and then is a good thing. What do you think: is it a good thing to rebel a little now and then? Support your position with evidence from your own experience or from the experiences of people you know.

    Invitation:
    Some people claim that a little rebellion now and then is a good thing. What do you think: is it a good thing to rebel a little now and then?

    Stipulation: Support your position with evidence from your own experience or from the experiences of people you know.

    To write to this essay topic, students are directed to develop their essay with examples from their personal experience.

  5. Essay Topic: Fads and Trends
  6. Briefly describe a fad or trend that you dislike. Explain why it has attracted so many followers and why you dislike it. Develop your point of view by giving reasons and/or examples from your own experience, observations, or reading.

    Invitation: Briefly describe a fad or trend that you dislike. Explain why it has attracted so many followers and why you dislike it.

    Stipulation: Develop your point of view by giving reasons and/or examples from your own experience, observations, or reading.

    To write to this essay topic, students are invited to describe a fad they dislike. But the invitation also directs students to explain why others not only like the fad but also choose to adopt or follow it. The stipulation also allows students to draw on a wider range of examples to develop their essays.

  7. Essay Topic: Community Service
  8. "A year of community service, with low pay, should be required of all eighteen year olds in the United States."

    Discuss the extent to which you agree or disagree with this viewpoint. Support your position with reason and/or examples from your own experience, observation, and reading.

    Invitation: "A year of community service, with low pay, should be required of all eighteen year olds in the United States." Discuss the extent to which you agree or disagree with this viewpoint.

    Stipulation: Support your position with reasons and/or examples from your own experience, observation, and reading.

    Again the stipulation in this essay topic provides students the opportunity to draw on a wide range of examples to develop their essays.

  9. Essay Topic: Images of Beauty

    Images of beauty-both male and female-are promoted in magazines, in movies, on billboards, and on television. Explain the extent to which you think these images can be beneficial or harmful.

    In this prompt, the invitation and stipulation are intertwined. Students will need to understand that they will choose examples from print and televised media to develop their essays.



What does a teacher need to know about the differences between the Subject A exam passage and prompt and the English Placement Test essay topics?

As was discussed in the previous For the Teacher section, the Subject A prompt and passage comprise a three-part prompt that includes the recapitulation, invitation, and stipulation. Because the English Placement Test does not require the students to read a non-fiction passage, the essay topic is comprised of two parts: the invitation and stipulation.

  • The invitation in the EPT essay topic invites students to respond to or take a stand on an issue or idea in the prompt itself rather than responding to an issue or idea that is a part of a reading passage.

  • The stipulation in the EPT prompt directs students to develop their essay using examples from specific sources. While each Subject A exam prompt directs students to draw on the same sources for examples -experience, observations, and readings - the EPT stipulation varies in the specific examples students are to use in developing their essays.



Are there ways for teachers to create units that will naturally create opportunities for students to write to both a Subject A exam prompt and an EPT prompt?

We suggest that one way to improve your students' critical reading and analytical writing is to create units of study that help students:

  • deepen and extend their knowledge of an issue or idea

  • develop their abilities to analyze and write about the issue

Possible issues for classroom study, reading, writing, and discussion all of which will prepare your students to write to both an EPT and Subject A prompt:

  1. Issue: Keeping or Breaking Traditions; Preserving Your Culture or Heritage

    • EPT Essay Topic: Breaking Tradition
      Many adults become upset when young people break with the traditions of the past. Do you think that these adults are justified in reacting this way? Why or why not? Support your position with evidence from your own experience or the experience of people you know.

    • Subject A passage and prompt: "Mirror for Man"

  2. Issue: Self, Service, and Community

    • EPT Essay Topic: Community Service

    "A year of community service, with low pay, should be required of all eighteen year olds in the United States."

    Discuss the extent to which you agree or disagree with this viewpoint. Support your position with reasons and/or examples from your own experience, observation, and reading.

    • Subject A passage and prompt: "Why People Don't Help in a Crisis"

  3. Issue: Media and Image; Media and Consumerism; Advertising Appeals and What They Say about Our Values

    • EPT Essay Topic: Images of Beauty
      Images of beauty -both male and female- are promoted in magazines, in movies, on billboards, and on television. Explain the extent to which you think these images can be beneficial or harmful.

    • Subject A passage and prompt: "The Appeal of the Democracy of Goods"

 

 

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