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Writing Essay
About COMPASS Writing
Essay Skills
Determine the Purpose for Writing
Formulate a Thesis or Statement of Main Idea
Organize Ideas and Details Effectively
Provide Adequate, Relevant Supporting Material
Use Effective Transitions
Demonstrate a Mature Command of Language
Avoid Inappropriate Use of Slang, Jargon, and Cliches
Use a Variety of Sentence Patterns Effectively
Maintain a Consistent Point of View
Practice Writing an Essay

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DEMONSTRATION ONLY: This demonstration presents an abbreviated version of the complete COMPASS course. Click 'Next' at the bottom of the screen or make a selection from the links on the left to begin. Not all links are available for the demo.

Writing Essay

About COMPASS Writing

The COMPASS Writing Essay Test, e-Write, measures your ability to write effectively, which is critical to academic success. You will be given a writing prompt that defines an issue or problem and describes two points of view on that issue. You will be asked to respond to a question about their position on the issue described in the prompt.

The assessment measures your writing skills at the level expected of an entering level college student. The test is used to assess your writing skills in order to determine the need for developmental instruction before enrolling in college-level English courses.

Upon completing the COMPASS e-Write test, you will be given feedback based on the following writing features:

  • Focus—consistency and clarity in identifying and maintaining the main idea or point of view

  • Content—extent to which the topic is addressed by the development of ideas and the specificity of details and examples

  • Organization—unity and coherence achieved through logical sequence of ideas

  • Style—how effectively the chosen language enhances the writer's purpose

  • Conventions—control of mechanics in grammar, usage, spelling, and punctuation.

Feedback includes a general explanation of the essay score. Each of the individual areas on which the essay is assessed is also discussed on either a 2-8 or 2-12 score scale. For an in-depth explanation of these scales, visit the official COMPASS web site.