Archive 5 Steps for Great Extended Responses
In this post, teacher Cara Popecki gives tips to make writing effective, collaborative, and fun.
It’s on every major college readiness and state exam, and it also elicits the most groans from students and teachers alike: the dreaded extended constructed response. Students are generally asked to read and answer questions about two passages that share a common theme, and then they must write an essay that incorporates evidence and analysis from both texts.
On-demand writing, especially writing that requires students to understand multiple texts, can be really stressful and challenging for students. On this high school Smarter Balanced test , students must read two articles about mandatory financial literacy classes before writing an argumentative essay. Building these types of assignments is also challenging for teachers — where do you find all those paired texts?
At CommonLit, we have tried to make this as easy as possible! Use these five steps to create rigorous, high-interest cross-textual assignments that can be implemented all year long:
STEP 1: Pick Two Interesting Texts that Share a Common Theme and Genre
Extended constructed responses offer a great opportunity to expose students to high-interest fiction and informational texts.
We’ve made finding two texts that share a common theme and genre extremely easy. First, go to www.commonlit.org and select the library . Use the search filters to narrow the library to the particular grade level that you teach. You can also use the search filters to narrow your search by genre.
Once you’ve found a text that will pique your students’ interest, navigate to the “Paired Texts” tab to find a list of related texts. For example, the informational article “Fear Prompts Teens to Act Impulsively” (1090L) comes with a host of great paired text suggestions:
The informational text “Raising Elephants” (1020L) explains the social interactions that teenage male elephants must navigate in order to make the transition to adulthood. Students reading both texts will have fun uncovering the similarities and differences between the behaviors of teenage elephants and teenage humans.
Once you’ve selected your pair of high-interest texts, you’re ready to write the essay prompt.
STEP 2: Write an Aligned, Extended-Response Prompt
To write an aligned, extended-response prompt, start by reading an example extended-response prompt from a released state test. Here is a sample prompt from a 7th grade Smarter Balanced assessment:
Your Assignment: Now that you have completed research on the topic of sleep, the journalism club advisor has asked you to write an explanatory article about sleep and naps for the next issue of the school newspaper. The audience for your article will be other students, teachers, and parents.
Next, read the CommonLit suggested pairing prompt for the two articles you have chosen for inspiration:
Finally, craft a writing prompt that mirrors the style of the state assessment:
Your Assignment: Now that you have completed your research on the topic of social interactions during adolescence, the director of the zoo where you work has asked you to write an explanatory article comparing and contrasting the adolescent phase of humans and elephants for the next issue of the zoo’s newsletter. The audience for your article will be other students and adults who are thinking about visiting the zoo.
STEP 3: Create a Student-Friendly Rubric
Especially if your students are new to extended constructed response, they will likely get overwhelmed by a traditional teacher-centric rubric. Our recommendation is to introduce students to a student-friendly rubric and focus your lessons on helping students master one rubric row at a time.
How do you create a student-friendly rubric? CommonLit provides a rubric for short-answer responses that you can edit. You can also create your own student-friendly rubric based on the SAT, ACT, or your state test.
If you are showing students a rubric for the first time, don’t just hand them a complex rubric. Make time to go over each section using an actual essay as a model.
STEP 4: Help Students Internalize What Success Looks Like
If students are going to be successful, they need to develop a vision of mastery that is similar to the teacher’s. Letting students read and score sample student essays (both good and bad) by using the rubric is a wonderful way for students to internalize the goal. For each rubric row, ask students to explain why they gave the score they gave.
You can find sample essays either from your own students’ work (keeping them anonymous), from the college readiness exams (SAT or ACT), or from your state assessments (PARCC, Smarter Balance, FSA, STAAR, etc.).
Do this activity multiple times throughout the year to really drive it home.
STEP 5: Involve Students Through a Peer Revision Process
Especially if you have loads of students, it’s nearly impossible to give students thorough feedback on their drafts before grading their work. One great strategy to address this is through peer revision as a way to help students become more proficient writers.
To kickoff peer revision, first model some essential revision strategies through a think-aloud:
Give specific praise 3–4 times
- I like the way you…
- This [word/sentence] is really…
Write 1–2 specific suggestions for improvement
- I recommend that you…
- Have you tried…
Summarize your feedback
- To sum it all up…
Doing regular peer revision will help students understand that writing is a process, not just a product. Many students struggle with writing because they think they only need to attempt it once without revisiting their own work. It’s tough, but if you build the habit with peer revisions, students will become more self-sufficient over time.
These strategies are not just for test prep. The best way for students to build confidence as writers is not to just practice but to receive clear expectations, feedback, and assignments that compel them to think analytically.
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Extended Response Resources
EXTENDED RESPONSE Answer Guidelines
EXTENDED RESPONSE Example of a Perfect Score
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GED Essay Writing Guide
What is the ged rla “extended response” question.
The Reasoning Through Language Arts (RLA) section of the GED includes an Extended Response essay question. You will only have 45 minutes to complete this essay, so it is important to familiarize yourself with the nature of the prompt. Read through this guide to become more familiar with the prompt and how to write the best response possible.
If you follow the strategies and the template provided in this guide, you’ll be able to produce a high-scoring essay in the time allotted! 😀
GED Essay Overview
Since the GED Exam is administered on a computer, you will type your essay into a text box. You will first be presented with two Stimulus Passages and then you will be given an essay prompt. The Stimulus Passages will each have 4–5 short paragraphs that introduce an issue and take a stance on that issue, with one passage opposing the other. You will then be given the following prompt:
➤ Pro Tip: Remember that the 45 minutes includes the time you take to read the Stimulus Passages. Read the passages thoroughly, but quickly, and make note of any specific points that stand out to you so that you can easily reference them as you formulate your argument.
GED Essay Strategy
In order to maximize your 45 minutes, it’s important to decide ahead of time how much time you will spend on each step. We recommend following the guide below, but you should write some practice responses with a timer nearby to get a good understanding of how our guide can best serve you. Make sure you do not hand-write your practice essays, as it is always best to recreate test conditions as closely as possible when preparing.
Follow this strategy when writing your GED Essay:
Step 1 ► Read and Analyze the Stimulus Passages (5 Minutes).
Start by reading both of the passages. Make sure you understand the issue and the position that each passage is taking. Try to ignore your own personal feelings on the topic as you read. Ultimately, your job is to explain why one of the sides is better supported ; it is fine to completely disagree with the side you defend, so long as you adequately support your stance. You are not writing about who you agree with, you are writing about who supports their argument best .
Step 2 ► Select Your Position and Outline Your Ideas (5 Minutes).
Ask yourself: which side seems like it has more supporting details and/or examples? Your task with this essay is similar to that of a teacher grading an essay. It doesn’t matter if you agree with the position; it matters that the writer supported their position well.
Remember, “better-supported” does not necessarily mean “right.” You are not required to argue in favor of one of the positions; you only need to explain why one position is better-supported than the other position.
Passage 1 : argues that school lunches should be 100% vegetarian in order to improve the health of students and to tackle the obesity epidemic in schools. This passage provides:
- statistics showing that vegetables are good for children.
Passage 2 : argues that animal protein is crucial for superior athletic performance and sustained energy levels in children. This passage provides:
- quotes from a doctor who says that protein from meat keeps children alert in classes after lunchtime.
- scientific research that supports this claim.
- statistics from counties that switched to vegetarian lunches which show that test scores dropped after adopting vegetarian lunches.
Which side is “best supported?” Which side should you choose for your essay? If you said, Passage 2, you are correct. Even if you are a vegetarian, you should be able to see that there is more supporting evidence in the passages for the “pro-meat” side. You will not receive a bad score if you choose to support the side that has less evidence, but it makes your task harder.
You should spend approximately 5 minutes deciding your position and outlining your essay. You can simply type your outline at the top of the text box (and delete it after you finish your essay). We will discuss more specifics about how to outline our essay in the “Template” below!
Step 3 ► Write your Essay (30 Minutes).
At this point, approximately 10 minutes will have gone by. You have read the passages and outlined your position. Now, simply start with paragraph 1, and follow the outline you created. Remember to stop periodically and refer back to your outline at the top. Most GED Extended Response essays are between 4–7 paragraphs and each paragraph is composed of 3–7 sentences. We suggest that you aim for 5 paragraphs; doing so ensures that your argument is complete.
As you will see in the Template below, it’s okay if some paragraphs are shorter than others! Don’t feel like you have to write sentences to fill up space; always write with purpose. Once you’ve made your point in a given paragraph, add a concluding sentence and move on. You should spend approximately 30 minutes on your essay.
Step 4 ► Read Everything Over At Least Once (5 Minutes).
Proofreading can make a good essay great, and a great essay stellar, so don’t forget that you will need at least 5 minutes at the end to thoroughly read through what you have written. Go back to the outline and review your notes. Does the essay you wrote follow the outline? Is it well-organized? If you’re happy that you didn’t stray from your plan, delete your outline notes. This is very important! If you do not delete your notes, scorers will think it is part of your response and take points off.
If you have extra time, look for spelling and grammar errors. Do your verb tenses agree? Did you accidentally leave off the “s” on a plural noun? How are the transitions between paragraphs? Does the essay “flow?” Remember, you can re-type any sentences you dislike, and you can add additional sentences for clarity. This is a timed response, so it does not have to be perfect, but if you have the time to fix mistakes you’ll only be helping your chances.
GED Essay Template
In the four-part strategy above, you read about the importance of planning and making an outline for the position you selected. Your outline should follow this general format:
- Paragraph 1 — Introduction
- Paragraph 2 — Body Paragraph
- Paragraph 3 — Body Paragraph
- Paragraph 4 — Body Paragraph
- Paragraph 5 — Conclusion
★ Paragraph 1 — Introduction
The introduction and conclusion are short paragraphs that “bookend” your essay. Your introduction should:
- introduce the topic from the passage,
- explain both sides of the issue (showing that you understood what you read),
- and make a claim that one side is better-supported and thus, more convincing (this should be the final sentence of the introduction).
Below is a possible template for the introductory paragraph. When you are writing your essay, you can write a very similar introductory paragraph while replacing the underlined portions to fit the prompt that you are answering:
★ Paragraphs 2–4 — Body Paragraphs
The real strength of your essay lies in your body paragraphs. Each body paragraph must introduce and describe one reason why the position you chose is better-supported. There will be 3 reasons in total (if you follow the 5-paragraph format). Look for some of these common ready-made arguments when reviewing the passages:
Authority figure — Does the passage quote a reputable figure with specialized knowledge, such as a doctor, scientist, or other expert? Does the reference lend credibility to the overall argument?
History — Does the passage explain a historical event or a precedent to back up its claim?
Statistics — Does the passage provide any numbers or data? Does the data help the author’s position?
Logical reasoning — Is there a strong element of logic or “common-sense” to the argument, and is it presented in a clear, cohesive manner?
Ethics — Is a moral argument made? Does the author insist his or her position is correct because it is the “morally right” thing to do?
Emotion — Does the author appeal to the reader’s feelings? Does the argument evoke an emotional response?
Reasonable Assumptions — Does the author rely on assumptions to draw any conclusions? Are the assumptions reasonable?
Forceful Vocabulary — Does the author’s word choice add weight and importance to the argument?
Not all of these will be present in every passage, but you will only need 3, and it is likely that at least 2–3 of these will be used in each argument. If the passage you choose only has 2 of the above supports, consider writing more than one paragraph about each, using different support. Let’s look at how we can “plug” three of these examples into our thesis from above:
When you outline your GED Essay, pre-write your thesis and decide on which three forms of support you will discuss to prove that your passage is better-supported. This will help you organize of the rest of your essay. Now that we have chosen our three examples, we can make a more specific outline:
- Paragraph 1 — Introduction (why Position X is better-supported)
- Paragraph 2 — Emotional Appeal
- Paragraph 3 — Authority Figure’s Opinion
- Paragraph 4 — Forceful Vocabulary
- Paragraph 5 — Conclusion (why Position Y is not well supported)
Let’s look at how we can “plug” some of these ready-made arguments into a body paragraph:
Notice how this body paragraph introduces the example in the first sentence (“logical reasoning”), and then cites 3 specific examples from the passage that employ this logical reasoning. The final sentence reiterates and emphasizes the overall idea of the paragraph. This paragraph is only 5 sentences (if you include a quote), yet it does a great job (1) introducing the superiority of the argued position, (2) giving examples from the passage to support a specific idea, and (3) concluding the paragraph.
In each body paragraph, you must defend your assertion that ONE position is better-supported with at least one specific reference showing this support. If you choose, “authority figures” as an example, but there is only 1 authority figure mentioned in the passage, it’s okay to spend the entire body paragraph discussing that one figure. You do not need to make up anything that is not in the passage—in fact, you shouldn’t!
★ Paragraph 5 — Conclusion
Finally, let’s look at how we can structure the conclusion:
GED Essay Scoring
Three separate scorers will grade your response based on each of the three traits of your essay: (1) Analysis of Arguments and Use of Evidence, (2) Development of Ideas and Structure, and (3) Clarity and Command of Standard English. Notice that if you follow the strategy and template provided above, all of these traits will be accounted for, and you won’t have to worry about them on Test Day! 😀
GED Essay Practice
Now you’re ready to write a practice essay. Try our GED Essay Practice Question .
Utilizing Extended Response Items to Enhance Student Learning
- An Introduction to Teaching
- Tips & Strategies
- Policies & Discipline
- Community Involvement
- School Administration
- Technology in the Classroom
- Teaching Adult Learners
- Issues In Education
- Teaching Resources
- Becoming A Teacher
- Assessments & Tests
- Elementary Education
- Secondary Education
- Special Education
- M.Ed., Educational Administration, Northeastern State University
- B.Ed., Elementary Education, Oklahoma State University
"Extended response items" have traditionally been called "essay questions." An extended response item is an open-ended question that begins with some type of prompt. These questions allow students to write a response that arrives at a conclusion based on their specific knowledge of the topic. An extended response item takes considerable time and thought. It requires students not only to give an answer but also to explain the answer with as much in-depth detail as possible. In some cases, students not only have to give an answer and explain the answer, but they also have to show how they arrived at that answer.
Teachers love extended response items because they require students to construct an in-depth response that proves mastery or lack thereof. Teachers can then utilize this information to reteach gap concepts or build upon individual student strengths. Extended response items require students to demonstrate a higher depth of knowledge than they would need on a multiple choice item. Guessing is almost completely eliminated with an extended response item. A student either knows the information well enough to write about it or they do not. Extended response items also are a great way to assess and teach students grammar and writing. Students must be strong writers as an extended response item also tests a student's ability to write coherently and grammatically correct.
Extended response items require essential critical thinking skills. An essay, in a sense, is a riddle that students can solve using prior knowledge, making connections, and drawing conclusions. This is an invaluable skill for any student to have. Those who can master it have a better chance of being successful academically. Any student who can successfully solve problems and craft well-written explanations of their solutions will be at the top of their class.
Extended response items do have their shortcomings. They are not teacher friendly in that they are difficult to construct and score. Extended response items take a lot of valuable time to develop and grade. Additionally, they are difficult to score accurately. It can become difficult for teachers to remain objective when scoring an extended response item. Each student has a completely different response, and teachers must read the entire response looking for evidence that proves mastery. For this reason, teachers must develop an accurate rubric and follow it when scoring any extended response item.
An extended response assessment takes more time for students to complete than a multiple choice assessment . Students must first organize the information and construct a plan before they can actually begin responding to the item. This time-consuming process can take multiple class periods to complete depending on the specific nature of the item itself.
Extended response items can be constructed in more than one way. It can be passage-based, meaning that students are provided with one or more passages on a specific topic. This information can help them formulate a more thoughtful response. The student must utilize evidence from the passages to formulate and validate their response on the extended response item. The more traditional method is a straightforward, open-ended question on a topic or unit that has been covered in class. Students are not given a passage to assist them in constructing a response but instead must draw from memory their direct knowledge on the topic.
Teachers must remember that formulating a well written extended response is a skill in itself. Though they can be a great assessment tool, teachers must be prepared to spend the time to teach students how to write a formidable essay . This is not a skill that comes without hard work. Teachers must provide students with the multiple skills that are required to write successfully including sentence and paragraph structure, using proper grammar, pre-writing activities, editing, and revising. Teaching these skills must become part of the expected classroom routine for students to become proficient writers.
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- Student Assessment
- Assessment Initiatives
- House Bill 3906
The State of Texas Assessments of Academic Readiness (STAAR®) test is being redesigned to make the test more tightly aligned to the classroom experience.
Summative Tests Redesign Overview
The STAAR redesign is a result of House Bill (HB) 3906 passed by the 86 th Texas Legislature in 2019. The Texas Education Agency (TEA), working with a wide range of education stakeholders, including the Assessment Education Advisory Committee, has been exploring the most instructionally supportive approach to implementing these changes. The redesign will be implemented in the state summative assessments administered in the 2022–2023 school year.
The STAAR redesign includes several components:
- Online Testing and Accommodations
New Question Types
- Cross-curricular Passages
For more information about how the STAAR redesign improves alignment to the classroom experience, hear what teachers are saying , reference the STAAR Redesign February 2022 Presentation (PDF, posted 3/7/22), or see below for more information about each component. For answers to frequently asked questions (FAQ), please reference the STAAR Redesign FAQ (PDF, updated 8/30/22).
Additionally, the Reporting Timelines for Spring 2023 STAAR provides dates when educators can expect to see early student results in the Centralized Reporting System (CRS) and preliminary assessments reports to assist with initial planning for accelerated instruction.
- Early Results Guidance Tables
Online Testing and Accommodations
House Bill (HB) 3261, enacted by the 87th Texas Legislature in 2021, requires state assessments to be administered online by the 2022–2023 school year. Online administration allows students to receive accommodations like those they get in the classroom, provides faster test results, improves test operations, and allows new non-multiple-choice questions. This transition will require nearly all students to be assessed online, with the exceptions of students taking the STAAR Alternate 2 assessment and students who require accommodations that cannot be provided online. See what educators have to say about the robust accommodations available to students through online testing.
Resources to Support Online Testing and Accommodations:
- Transition to STAAR Online Assessments Implementation Guide (PDF posted 11/02/21)
- List of Vendor and Regional Supports for Transition to Online (PDF posted 11/02/21)
- TEA Transition To Online Testing Infrastructure Grant
- State of Texas Transition to Online Assessments Feasibility Study (PDF posted 12/01/20)
- Video summary of the transition to online testing
- Video overview of online STAAR accommodations
- Eligibility requirements for a special paper administration of an online test
House Bill 3906 established a “multiple choice cap,” meaning that no more than 75% of points on a STAAR test can be based on multiple choice questions. Texas educators are helping design new question types that reflect classroom test questions and allow students more ways to show their understanding. All possible new question types are being field-tested with students to ensure validity before they are incorporated into the redesigned summative tests beginning in spring 2023.
Resources to Support New Question Types
- Full-length online practice test
- Answer keys to Full-length online practice tests (PDF posted 11/30/22)
- Full-length paper practice test
- New question type online samplers
- New question type paper samplers (PDF posted 09/29/22)
- Answer keys to online samplers of new question types
- New question types by grade level and content area (PDF posted 09/08/22)
- Math (PDF posted 8/15/22)
- Reading Language Arts (PDF posted 08/19/22)
- Science (PDF posted 1/27/22)
- Social Studies (PDF posted 1/27/22)
- Spanish Reading Language Arts (PDF posted 8/25/22)
- RLA Writing Rubrics-English/Spanish
- RLA Grades 3-5 Constructed Response (PDF posted 10/7/22)
- RLA Grades 3-5 Constructed Response-Spanish (PDF posted 10/7/22)
- RLA Grades 6-8 Constructed Response (PDF posted 10/7/22)
- English I and II Constructed Response (PDF posted 10/7/22)
- Science Grade 5 Short Constructed Response-English/Spanish (PDF posted 10/7/22)
- Science Grade 8 Short Constructed Response (PDF posted 10/7/22)
- Biology Short Constructed Response (PDF posted 10/7/22)
- Social Studies Grade 8 Short Constructed Response (PDF posted 10/7/22)
- US History Short Constructed Response (PDF posted 10/7/22)
- Updated test blueprints
There will be an increase in the number of cross-curricular informational passages that reference content aligned to the TEKS for other subject areas (e.g., social studies, science, mathematics, fine arts, etc.). While the cross-curricular passages on reading language arts (RLA) test will include topics from other subject areas, the questions will only assess RLA TEKS; students will not be scored on their understanding of TEKS for other subject areas.
Beginning with the 2022–2023 school year, RLA assessments will assess both reading and writing (grades 3–8 English, grades 3–5 Spanish, and English I and II End-of-Course) and will include new question types and an extended constructed response, or essay, at every grade level.
Based on research and educator feedback, the essay component will shift from a standalone prompt to writing in response to a reading selection. Students will write in one of three possible modes: informational, argumentative, or correspondence and will be scored using a 5-point rubric. The rubric will include two main components: idea development and language conventions.
Resources to Support Evidence-based Writing on all Tests
- RLA assessed curriculum guides and preliminary test blueprints
To clarify any information from the content on this web page, please submit a Help Desk ticket to Student Assessment
Student Assessment Division 512-463-9536
TOPICS A. Fill-in-the-Blank Items B. Essay Questions C. Scoring Options
Extended responses can be much longer and complex then short responses, but students should be encouraged to remain focused and organized. On the FCAT, students have 14 lines for each answer to an extended response item, and they are advised to allow approximately 10-15 minutes to complete each item. The FCAT extended responses are scored using a 4-point scoring rubric. A complete and correct answer is worth 4 points. A partial answer is worth 1, 2, or 3 points.
GED Essay Prompt
The articles below present arguments from supporters and critics of police militarization.
In your essay, analyze both articles to determine which position is best supported. Use relevant and specific evidence from both articles to support your response.
Type your essay. You should expect to spend up to 45 minutes planning, drafting, and editing your response.
News reports frequently show police wearing helmets and masks, wielding assault rifles, and riding in mine-resistant armored vehicles. These are not isolated incidents—they represent a nationwide trend of police militarization. Federal programs providing surplus military equipment have equipped police officers with firepower that is far beyond what is needed for their jobs as protectors of their communities. Sending a heavily armed team of officers to perform routine police work can dangerously escalate situations that never needed to involve violence in the first place.
Throughout the United States, heavily armed SWAT teams are raiding people’s homes in the middle of the night, often just to search for drugs. Military-style police raids have increased dramatically in recent years, with one report finding over 80,000 such raids last year. It should enrage us that people have needlessly died during these raids, that pets have been shot, and that homes have been ravaged. Sometimes children are in the crossfire—often with deadly results.
Our neighborhoods are not warzones, and the police should not be treating us like wartime enemies. And yet, every year, billions of dollars’ worth of military equipment flows from the federal government to local police departments. The main beneficiaries of this militarization are military contractors who now have another lucrative market in which to sell their products. Companies like Lockheed Martin and Blackhawk Industries are making record profits by selling their equipment to local police departments that have received Department of Homeland Security grants.
Police departments use these wartime weapons in everyday policing, especially to fight the wasteful and failed drug war, which has unfairly targeted people of color. According to a recent ACLU report, “of all the incidents studied where the number and race of the people impacted were known, 39 percent were Black, 11 percent were Latino, 20 were white.” The majority of raids that targeted blacks and Latinos were related to drugs—another metric exposing how the “war on drugs” is racist to the core.
The Truth about Police Militarization
by David Hagner
Over the last few years the role of police in American society has increasingly drawn harsh criticism. Much is made of the militarization of police, from their acquisition and use of surplus military equipment, their training with and adopting similar tactics to the military, and intrusive search procedures. These criticisms are disproportionate and do not take into account the everyday facts of policing, including:
- The nature of the threat has changed: Terrorist attacks on American soil have risen in frequency. Though none have been as destructive as those of 9/11, many more recent attacks have occurred at the local level and have to be confronted by police. When these incidents occur, officers need the best available equipment in order to neutralize heavily armed opponents before they can inflict serious harm on civilians.
- There is little evidence that new procedures have increased causalities: Statistics of police killings of civilians do not show any significant increase, while deaths of officers in the line of duty are at an all-time low, indicating the newer procedures have helped save lives.
- The vast majority of police-civilian interactions are peaceful: Criticisms about the overuse of SWAT teams and officers decked out in military gear ignore the fact that most officers patrol the streets in standard uniforms and interact peacefully with multiple civilians during a given day. Rates of violent crime are down in most parts of the country. Violent confrontations are the exception, not the rule.
- Taking valuable tools away from police officers endangers lives: The stability of police shootings of civilians, the decline in violent crime, and the decline in police officer fatalities all suggest that current procedures are working. If officers lose the tactics and equipment they have come to rely on, these trends could be adversely affected and officers could be put in harm’s way without adequate protection.
Police exist to serve their communities, and while accusations of over-militarization are exaggerated, officers do still need to focus heavily on community outreach and dialogue. The only way misconceptions can be corrected is through transparency, so civilians can see and understand why certain approaches are warranted.
Write your essay and then review our sample response!
GED Sample Essay >>
Extended Response Prompt: Analyze the arguments presented in the two journal articles. In your response, develop an argument in which you explain how one position is better supported than the other. Incorporate relevant and specific evidence from both sources to support your argument.
STEP 1: Pick Two Interesting Texts that Share a Common Theme and Genre Extended constructed responses offer a great opportunity to expose students to high-interest fiction and informational texts. We’ve made finding two texts that share a common theme and genre extremely easy. First, go to www.commonlit.org and select the library.
Extended Response - GED Language Arts Extended Response Use these free videos, guidelines and examples to prepare and practice for the essay section of the Language Arts test. Videos: How to write a great GED extended response Test Taker RLA Extended Response update Overview of the GED Extended Response Format (1:28)
Most GED Extended Response essays are between 4–7 paragraphs and each paragraph is composed of 3–7 sentences. We suggest that you aim for 5 paragraphs; doing so ensures that your argument is complete. As you will see in the Template below, it’s okay if some paragraphs are shorter than others!
An extended response item is an open-ended question that begins with some type of prompt. These questions allow students to write a response that arrives at a conclusion based on their specific knowledge of the topic. An extended response item takes considerable time and thought.
Beginning with the 2022–2023 school year, RLA assessments will assess both reading and writing (grades 3–8 English, grades 3–5 Spanish, and English I and II End-of-Course) and will include new question types and an extended constructed response, or essay, at every grade level.
On the FCAT, students have 14 lines for each answer to an extended response item, and they are advised to allow approximately 10-15 minutes to complete each item. The FCAT extended responses are scored using a 4-point scoring rubric. A complete and correct answer is worth 4 points. A partial answer is worth 1, 2, or 3 points.
In your essay, analyze both articles to determine which position is best supported. Use relevant and specific evidence from both articles to support your response. Type your essay. You should expect to spend up to 45 minutes planning, drafting, and editing your response.