Understanding and Succeeding on the OSSLT Major Writing Pieces

When writing the OSSLT (Ontario Secondary School Literacy Test) there are a number of unspoken requirements for success. This article will teach you the specific things you need to accomplish to succeed in the OSSLT.

Remember, that while there may be a number of multiple-choice and short writing pieces on the OSSLT, Ontario students often find success through the two long writing tasks.

This advice will help prepare you to succeed on the News Report and the Supported Opinion Piece.

A man holding a newspaper.
Unsplash – @RomanKraft

News Report

Write a five paragraph Newspaper Article responding to the headline and picture below.

Ensure your article contains…

  • The Who, What, Where, Why, and When in the lead (first) paragraph.
  • At least two Specific Facts in each of the five paragraphs
  • Three quotations from experts
    • Experts often include police, witnesses, people involved
  • Transitions between paragraphs.
  • Proper use of spelling, grammar, and punctuation rules.

Ensure your article does not contain…

  • “For more information please…”
  • Informal voice (“I think…”, “You should…”)
  • Questions for the reader

A pencil and sharpener for writing a sequence of paragraphs.
Unsplash – @linalitvina

Supported Opinion Piece

Write a five paragraph Opinion Essay responding to the prompt below.

Ensure your Opinion Essay…

  • Expresses a clear opinion.
  • You must agree or disagree.
    • You can not argue both sides.
  • Uses five strong paragraphs to fully explore the prompt.
  • Fills all blank lines that are provided for your response.
  • Includes at least two specific facts in each paragraph.
  • Supports each fact with additional specific details.
  • Uses strong transitions between paragraphs.
  • Demonstrates adherence to spelling, grammar, and punctuation rules.

Ensure your Opinion Essay does not

  • Repeat the same vague details from paragraph to paragraph.
  • Argue both in favour and against the prompt.
  • Ask questions of the reader.

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