Question 7 - High School English I: Writing Practice Test for the STAAR test

Mohammad wants to add this sentence to his text:

“Although typing skills are important to know, handwriting should remain part of the curriculum because of the benefits it provides.”

Where should this sentence be inserted in the attached passage?

Mohammad’s teacher asked him to write a persuasive paper for or against the continued teaching of handwriting in school. Read his first draft and look for any revisions he should make.

Schools Should Keep Teaching Handwriting

(1) In this age of texting and technology, handwriting is a dying art. (2) What used to be a regular part of every elementary school curriculum has now been dropped by many schools because administrators deem it as “unimportant” with our reliance on technology. (3) But knowing how to write in cursive has its benefits and should be remaining a part of a public school’s comprehensive curriculum.

(4) There are a number of benefits to knowing and using handwriting. (5) The first is that writing notes by hand helps the note taker develop a stronger connection with the material. (6) Scientists have proven that taking notes by hand rather than typing them on a computer engages the brain on a different and more complex level.

(7) Typing is a simple memory-based movement that requires repetitive motions. (8) The keys on a keyboard are always in the same location and with enough practice, your fingers can find them without even thinking about them. (9) Writing, however, requires more complex thinking that yield more beneficial results. (10) Forming the letters on a piece of paper, linking those letters together to create words, and organizing words together to create meaningful sentences requires a higher level of thinking and understanding.

(11) When a person writes by hand, with a pen or pencil gliding across the paper, it creates a sensory effect that is missing when typing on a keyboard. (12) Writing activated the parts of the brain involved in thinking and working memory and helps the brain more effectively “file things away” that can later be recalled more easily.

(13) Writing by hand can also sharpen a person’s critical thinking skills. (14) That is because as a person writes, they engage with the words and the information in a way that allows them to think more thoroughly about the information being recorded. (15) They have to think about what they are writing and in doing so are making connections to the material and information. (16) Critical thinking skills are important skills to have in life.

(17) Some people may argue that the benefits to typing outweigh those of handwriting. (18) For one, it is easier to share information when you can share and print electronic documents. (19) Also, it’s faster. (20) Writing is usually slower than typing. (21) This makes it harder to take notes verbatim. (22) And the benefit to having to slow down when writing by hand is that you must actually mentally engage with the information. (23) You have to process and summarize the information in a way that makes sense to you so that you can use it to refer to later. (24) Mindless transcription doesn’t engage your mind in thinking about the information and can lead to a lack of understanding.

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