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Pressure to Create Text Dependent Analysis Questions

Aug 26, 2015

“Pressure pushing down on me, Pressing down on you, no man ask for…” (Queen, 1982)

Just like Freddie Mercury belted, there is pressure pushing down on you that you didn’t ask for. Pressure in the form of new question types: Text Dependent Analysis and Evidence Based Response. Maybe there is also pressure on your students to perform well. Perhaps the pressure is on you to prepare your students accordingly. Or even pressure to write these new types of questions for students’ practice.

Just like anything else in life, in order to master a task, you must practice. Practice makes perfect. Or, wait; perfect practice makes perfect. So you need to write some TDA Questions, but where do you start? What makes a question text dependent? What type of analysis needs to be done?

Text dependent questions ask students to consult provided text or media to uncover deeper meaning within the passage. TDA only occurs when students are asked to explain why. To start writing TDA questions, you may want start with Text Dependent stems. Focusing on areas like Key Ideas and Details, Craft and Structure, and Integration of Knowledge and Ideas, can help you determine what your question will focus on. Check out our “How to Write Effective TDA Questions” whitepaper to learn more on creating your own TDA Questions.

How to Write Effective Text Dependent Analysis Questions

When writing your own TDA Questions, there are some do's and don'ts that should be followed as a general rule of thumb. 

::Do's:: Text Dependent Questions require the following to be true in all questions:

  • Requires that questions can only be answered correctly by close reading of the text and demand careful attention to the text
  • Requires student explain and defend the evidence that they presented
  • Require an understanding that extends beyond recalling facts
  • Requires students to gather evidence and build knowledge
  • Requires access to increasing levels of complex text
  • Requires time for students to process questions and formulate responses

::Don'ts:: When writing TDA questions, you cannot have any of the following present:

  • Cannot depend on information from outside sources
  • Cannot ask students about their own experiences
  • Cannot result in only one correct answer
  • Cannot just ask students to cite an answer from the text. It must also make them justify their citation

You can also download the full TDA Writer’s Checklist here!

TDA Writer's Checklist

Once you start writing your own TDA questions, you may learn that you can tweak a few of your existing questions to become TDA Questions. It may require some time and effort, but it will be well worth your it in the end. If you prepare your students, they won't feel the pressure of these new questions types; but will feel well prepared and ready to tackle these new items!  

Category: Tips

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