Paper 3

Academic Modes Writing Assignment

Your assignment is to select one of these “academic” modes of organization to complete this paper. Your paper can be about any topic of your choice and can be serious or humorous. One key to this paper will be the way you transition from topic to topic. See more on transitions HERE. Another key to this paper will be organization! In order to be successful with this style of writing, a student needs to decide what s/he wants to write and then read many, many examples of that genre. A student has to answer this important question: What have I read that is like what I am trying to write? Be certain that you read examples of what you are trying to write!!

Standards Assessed:

W.11-12.2 Write informative/explanatory texts to examine and convey complex ideas, concepts, and information clearly and accurately through the effective selection, organization, and analysis of content.

W.11-12.4 Produce clear and coherent writing in which the development, organization, and style are appropriate to task, purpose, and audience.

W.11-12.5 Develop and strengthen writing as needed by planning, revising, editing, rewriting, or trying a new approach, focusing on addressing what is most significant for a specific purpose and audience.

L.11-12.1 Demonstrate command of the conventions of standard English grammar and usage when writing or speaking.

Mode #1: Cause and Effect

A CAUSE is what makes a particular thing happen. An EFFECT is what results from a particular cause: a situation, activity, or behavior. You write cause and effect papers to help readers understand why something happened or is happening or to show readers how one thing affects something else. The key to this type is writing is effectively explaining the causal relationship between the items you write about.


We received seven inches of rain in four hours. – The underpass was flooded.

I never brush my teeth. – I have 5 cavities.

Smoking cigarettes – Lung cancer

Many buffalo were killed. – Buffalo almost became extinct.

The streets were snow-packed and icy. – Cars needed more time to stop.

He broke his arm. – The doctor put it in a cast.

The boss was busy. – Her secretary took a message.

Example Essay:

Informational video:

Instructional Work:

Mode #2: Comparison and Contrast

A comparison tells how two things are similar. A contrast tells how they are different. A comparison and contrast paper needs to examine both. One key to this type of writing is to have a basis for comparison–that is, they have to have enough in common so the comparison makes sense. There are two styles of organization: subject-by-subject and point-by-point. In subject-by-subject, you discuss first all your points about one subject and then all your points about the other subject. In a point-by-point comparison, you discuss each point for both subjects before going on to the next point.

Great Graphic Organizer

Compare/Contrast Examples

Informational Video

Instructional Work:

Mode #3 Classification

Classification is the activity of sorting items (people, things, ideas) into categories. In a classification paragraph, you tell readers how a collection of items can be sorted into categories. Each of the categories into which you classify information must be distinct, and an item cannot fit into more than one category.

Example Essay

Informational Video

Instructional Work:

Rough Draft Due for Formal Conference: TBD
3 Academic Mode Tasks: ONE, TWO, and THREE

1 ½ pages- 2 pages

4-5 grammar skills (plus brush strokes and clauses)

1 formal conference

1 informal conference

2 peer edits