Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Writing EOI: Do Teen Writers Really Have the Advantage?

Admittedly, this might seem like a random topic.  But with the EOI for sophomores coming up, it's something I keep wondering:  Do teen writers really have any advantage over the End of Instruction writing tests?

    If you just give it a fleeting consideration, then yeah, it would probably seem like we do.  But with a little more thought, it really doesn't seem like such a great situation.

    The last time I took one of these tests was in the 8th grade, and the first was in 5th grade.  I don't remember this being much of an issue in either of those tests, because my personal writing style didn't really develop until 9th grade(ish).  Besides, it's pretty easy to just keep your head down and give the test graders what they want:  Something that sounds like it's coming straight from a text book or newspaper.

    But here's the thing -- text books and newspapers are boring.  The writing's as flat as the paper it's printed on, completely soulless, and devoid of any personality whatsoever.  (If you haven't learned yet, "professional" writing is just code for "yawn-inducing".)

    Now that I'm an actual writer and take writing seriously, I'm pretty sure it'd kill me to give them something like that.  My style is more conversational, casual, than what the people are probably looking for -- but at the same time, there's no way I'm going to sacrifice the writing for the sake of this test.

    So where do you draw the line? 

    To be honest, I'm still not sure.  I'm going to approach this thing my way, and write it my way -- but on the other hand, I'll rein in the fractions and slip in as many "expanded vocabulary" (show-off) words as I can bear.  (Not too much of that, mind you, or you'll come off looking like a regular Christopher Paolini.  Eek.)

    By the way, thanks to 3rd-nine-weeks tests, blogging's probably going to be pretty spotty this week -- definitely on Thursday and Friday.  Just a heads-up.

    But what do you think -- are the EOI's in the bag for teen writers, or are we actually at a disadvantage?  Feel free to sound off in the comments.

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