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SOL Writing Notebook Setup
Short Essay Section: You will need to either pick up or print the packet of information for your notebook. See the video
online (Edmodo) or the back of page if you need further clarification. You should put it together in the following order.
Secure each page in your notebook with tape or glue stick
1. Inside front cover (page 1 of the notebook): POWER Paragraph Template
2. First page (page 2 of the notebook): Essay Template
3. Left-hand side (page 3 of the notebook): 4-Square Essay Template
4. Right-hand side (page 4 of the notebook): Transition words page
5. Left-hand side (pages 5-?): Prompts. Each prompt should be numbered to make referencing it as a class, small
group, or individual easier.
On the first prompt page, please write the information in the table. This mimics the left and right sides of the notebook.
Space this out as shown in the video or on the back of the page.
Left-hand side of model page
(Tape/glue the numbered prompt in the upper margin of the
page.)
Restate:
Right-hand side of model page
Right Side Possibilities
1. Complete a planning page for the prompt.
2. Practice a body paragraph using POWER or 2nd
Thesis:
POWER format.
3. Practice writing an introduction (Hook, Bridge,
Thesis).
2-3 body paragraph ideas:
4. Practice writing a conclusion (Revisit, Importance,
Clincher/Call to Action)
5. Complete a RAFT (Role, Audience, Format, Topic)
6. Draw a picture to help you better understand your
Counter-argument (11th grade only):
*Follow this format for every prompt.
topic.
This side is teacher/student directed. You may not do this
for every prompt.
Grammar Section: Flip your notebook to the middle—there is a natural division in composition notebooks.
1. Create a divider labeled Grammar Practice on the right-hand center page. Your divider should help you easily turn
to this section.
2. Turn the page. On the left-hand side of the page, write Directions or Table of Contents (ask your teacher which
one) in the upper margin.
3. On the right-hand side of the page (if directions were on the left), write Table of Contents in the upper margin.
4. Skip the number of pages you are directed to skip and label your spot to begin your daily grammar warm-ups.
Writer’s Checklist or Rubrics
Tape your writer’s checklist or rubrics to the back cover so they may be read.
POWER Paragraph Template—BUILDING BLOCK OF ALL BODY PARAGRAPHS
P
O
W
E
PROVIDE your topic sentence. Make sure it
answers, responds to, or connects to the
question, prompt, or thesis statement.
OPINION—what’s your reason? This is called This is true because
a MAJOR DETAIL (remember major means BIG,
as in “You are going to be in MAJOR trouble if
you forget to do your homework.”)
WHAT ELSE CAN YOU SAY? Give some
MINOR DETAILS (minor means small as in For example,
“Dad, I’m really sorry, I had a minor accident.”)
Consider the following:
 Give EVIDENCE (notes, article,
textbook, etc.) about your major detail.
 DEFINE your major detail.
 DESCRIBE your major detail.
 IN SHORT, GIVE DETAILS ABOUT
YOUR DETAIL.
EXPLAIN, EXPAND, ELABORATE—give This shows
another detail about your major detail. If you can
make what you said clearer or make it make This demonstrates
more sense, do it!
This is another MINOR DETAIL.
This proves
R
WRAP IT UP—what do you want me to Remember,
remember? Conclude your paragraph!
NOTICE the sentence starters in many of the boxes. They are to help you, so feel free to use them. A
few things to pay close attention to are . . .
 The O sentence starter is black-lined because it is what you should think, but not what you would
write on your final draft. Start with the sentence you wrote to follow it.
 The E box has three sentence starter CHOICES. You should NOT use all three. Pick the one that
suits your paragraph the best.
 The R sentence starter is just a suggestion, but you will need a transition word or phrase to
indicate you are finalizing your thoughts on this paragraph.
INTRODUCTION: This is your FIRST paragraph (Remember HBT—HOOK, BRIDGE, THESIS)
Hook: Question or quote from the story—
something to get me “hooked” into your
paper.
Bridge: This connects your HOOK to
your THESIS. It should be 2-3
sentences.
Thesis: This is the focus of the essay—
write your theme here.
BODY: This is your SECOND and THIRD paragraph.
Present your main idea
(topic sentence). Connect to
the thesis.
Offer a reason why this is
your main idea. What point
do you want to make about
the topic?
Widen your information.
What is your proof? Go to
the text for support—offer
evidence!
Explain how or why your
reason and proof are
connected to the topic.
Restate your main idea.
What do you want your
readers to really know about
this topic?
CONCLUSION: This is your FOURTH paragraph. (Remember RIC—REVISIT, IMPORTANCE, CLINCHER)
Revisit your thesis in a new way. Avoid
“In conclusion. . . “
Importance: Why this is an important
message?
Clincher—what are your parting
thoughts for your reader? What should
we remember?
NOTE: This template is set up for a FOUR-paragraph essay. The POWER body is a building block. You can have
as many or as few as you need. You can also substitute the 2 nd POWER which doubles the OWE portion of the
paragraph.
Introduction
Hint: Connect your P sentence to thesis
Hook:
P
Bridge:
O
Body 1
W
Thesis:
Hint: Restate the prompt to create your
thesis.
E
R
Body 2
Hint: Connect your P sentence to thesis
Conclusion
P
Revisit (Restate thesis)
O
W
Importance
E
Clincher
R
TRANSITIONS AND LINKING WORDS
Words that can be used to show location:
above
away from
across
behind
throughout
against
below
right
along
beneath
among
beside
around
between
Words that can be used to show time:
beyond
by
into
near
over
down
off
to the
in back of
in front of
inside
onto
on top of
outside
under
about
first
meanwhile
soon
after
second
today
later
at
third
tomorrow
afterward
before
till
next week
immediately
during
until
yesterday
finally
Words that can be used to compare items or show similarities:
then
next
as soon as
when
in the same way
like wise
as
similarly
like
also
Words that can be used to contrast items or show differences:
but
otherwise
however
yet
Words that can be used to emphasize a point:
although
still
on the other hand
even though
again
for this reason
to repeat
to emphasize
Words that can be used to conclude or summarize:
truly
in fact
as a result
finally
therefore
last
Words that can be used to add information:
in conclusion
in summary
to sum up
all in all
again
another
also
and
additionally
besides
in addition
for example
important
Words that can be used to clarify:
for instance
moreover
next
likewise
finally
as well
along with
equally
in other words
another way
for instance
that is
put
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