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Requirements for 3rd Grade Essay Writing

by Kristine Tucker

Students take a big leap between second and third grade when it comes to writing. Second graders learn about sentence structure -- subjects and verbs -- and write simple sentences to express their views. Third graders learn to write persuasively using complex sentences, proper grammar and punctuation to support ideas and arguments. Third graders are also required to edit their original drafts so their essays flow smoothly and have fewer errors.

Vocabulary

Third graders must incorporate new, more advanced vocabulary into their essays. They are expected to choose words carefully and lengthen simple sentences with conjunctions, transitional phrases, adjectives and adverbs. They learn how to use reference books, such as dictionaries and thesauruses, so they can find synonyms and antonyms to support and improve their compositions, according to the Scholastic Parents website. Parents and teachers can help by exploring and teaching new vocabulary words on a daily or weekly basis.

Content

Third graders are required to write four main types of essays: narrative, descriptive, expository and persuasive. They learn to develop story lines and explain why events are significant, consolidate information and write introductions, summaries and conclusions. Students are asked to use sensory details to make settings, people, events and experiences come to life. They must suggest a topic, make a convincing argument, organize content and provided reasons to support their opinion, according to Common Core Standards.

Rough Draft

The concept of a rough draft is new for most third graders. They learn that conceptual ideas, plots and characters are developed in a draft that isn't the final composition. While student may not want to write their paper twice, teachers help them learn the importance and benefits of a rough draft and encourage them to write continuously, without breaking to make corrections and revisions.

Final Draft

Third grade students are required to proofread, edit, rearrange and restructure their rough drafts to create error-free content. They must correct mistakes, looking for grammatical, spelling and punctuation errors. Third graders also learn how to give and receive feedback from teachers and peers to make their writing more fluid. Depending on the assignment, teachers might also require students to create a cover page. Most final drafts must be written in cursive or typed.

About the Author

As curriculum developer and educator, Kristine Tucker has enjoyed the plethora of English assignments she's read (and graded!) over the years. Her experiences as vice-president of an energy consulting firm have given her the opportunity to explore business writing and HR. Tucker has a BA and holds Ohio teaching credentials.

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