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 Compositional Risks

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Rawrness in the making

PostSubject: Compositional Risks   Fri Feb 13, 2009 10:28 pm

Compositional Risks
One of the ways to help your writing earn a higher score when it is evaluated by the scorers is to attempt compositional risks. If you look at the New Jersey Registered Holistic Scoring Rubric, you will notice that in order for a writing to be scored a 5, it should include attempts at compositional risks. For a writing to earn a 6, the writer must use compositional risks successfully. So what are compositional risks?

Compositional risks are attempts by writers to use more difficult compositional techniques. They demonstrate a writerís command of language, grammar, or mechanics as well as the writerís ability to include higher level thinking skills. Compositional risks can be any of the following writing techniques.

  • The use of more sophisticated vocabulary
  • The use of allusions to other works of literature or historical events
  • The use of more complex sentence structures
  • The use of dialogue within the writing
  • The use of humor
  • The use of sarcasm

Hint 1: It is important to make sure that your compositional risks are appropriate within your writing. Do not overuse any technique. For example, donít fill your writing with the biggest words you can think of. Use a more sophisticated words when it logically fits. Donít make every sentence have complex structures. Vary your sentence style so that the writing doesnít sound simple or dull.

Hint 2: Take a chance and use a higher level vocabulary word, even if you donít know how to spell it. You will not be penalized for misspelling a more complex word that is correctly used.

Compositional Risks 1: The Use of a More Sophisticated Vocabulary

You can demonstrate a strong command of language by using a more sophisticated vocabulary when it is appropriate. You want to carefully choose the places within you writing where you will attempt this compositional risk. For example, choose more sophisticated words when they can help you emphasize key points or more clearly describe something within your writing.

Original Sentence: We really donít want a garbage incinerator to be built in our town.

More Sophisticated: We adamantly oppose the building of a garbage incinerator in our town.

Do you see how the second sentence sounds much stronger because the new words are more forceful? These new words help emphasize how strongly the writer feels about the situation.

Original Sentence: The one boy hit the other boy again and again.

More sophisticated: The one boy pummeled the other boy again and again.

Do you see how the use of the word hit doesnít tell the reader how hard the action was? By using the word pummeled, the reader now gets a better picture of the boy being hit hard repeatedly. It provides the reader with a stronger visual picture.
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