DSST Principles of Advanced English Composition Study Guide
Updated: Aug 18
Our Principles of Advanced English Composition study guide is designed to help you succeed on your DSST exam and in your studies.
Our exam guide will introduce you to what to expect on your DSST exam and start you in the right direction in your studies.
Table of Contents
1. Types of Writing
A narrative composition tells a story.
It focuses on the plot and characters and is usually told from the point of view of one of the characters.
An informative composition provides information about a particular subject.
It is often used to explain or tell how to do something.
Argumentative and Persuasive
An argumentative or persuasive composition is one in which the writer tries to
convince the reader to agree with their opinion.
The writer may use facts and figures to support their position, but their opinion is crucial.
A critical response composition responds to another piece of writing, usually an essay or article.
The writer agrees or disagrees with the other writer's opinion and supports their position with reasons and evidence.
DSST Principles of Advanced English Composition Trivia Question #774
2. Elements of Effective Writing
Audience and Purpose Analysis
The first step in writing an effective composition is to identify the purpose of
Is the purpose persuading, entertaining, or something else?
Once the purpose is determined, the writer can think about the audience.
Who will be reading the piece?
What do they know about the subject?
What do they need to know?
The writer must also determine the best medium and format for the composition.
Should it be an essay, a letter, an article, or something else?
Pre-Writing Strategies and Content Generation
Once the purpose and audience have been determined, the writer can begin to generate ideas for the composition.
This can be done through critical reading, discussion, and brainstorming.
Invention techniques such as free writing and mind mapping can also be helpful.
The next step is to begin drafting the composition.
The writer should start by creating a draft outline of the paper.
This will ensure that the paper is well-organized and that all the necessary information is included.
The writer should also pay attention to paragraph and sentence structure.
Each paragraph should have a clear topic sentence.
Revising and Editing
After the draft is complete, it is time to revise and edit.
The writer should first check for content comprehension and clarity.
Is the paper easy to understand?
Does it flow well?
The writer should also check for cohesiveness and relevance.
Are the ideas well-connected?
Do you know if the paper is on-topic?
Finally, the writer should proofread the paper for grammar and spelling errors.
3. Reading and Writing Arguments
Identifying Elements of Arguments
The first step in analyzing an argument is to identify the claims.
The claim is the main idea of the argument, and the sub-claims are the supporting ideas.
The writer must also identify the evidence that supports the claims.
This can be done by looking at the logic of the argument, examining the data, and considering the warrants and assumptions.
Once the claims and evidence have been identified, the writer can analyze the argument.
The writer should first consider whether the data supports or refutes the claim.
If the data does not support the claim, the argument is weak.
The writer should also identify the key terms in the argument.
These are the words or phrases that have the most significant meaning.
The writer should also look for warrants and assumptions.
A warrant is an unstated assumption necessary for the argument to be valid.
An assumption is a belief that the writer takes for granted.
Finally, the writer should identify the conclusion of the argument.
This is the main point that the writer is trying to make.
4. Using Secondary Sources
The first step in using secondary sources is to find appropriate sources.
The writer should look for sources that are current and complete.
The writer should also consider the type of source.
Is it an academic journal?
Once the appropriate sources have been found, the writer must evaluate the relevance and
the credibility of the sources.
The writer should consider the author's qualifications and the source's bias.
The writer should also ensure that the sources are relevant to the topic.
After evaluating the sources, the writer can begin to use them.
The writer can use the sources to write a summary, paraphrase, or quotation.
The writer should cite and document the sources according to the chosen documentation style.
Citing and Documenting
The final step in using secondary sources is to cite and document the sources according to the chosen documentation style.
The three most common documentation styles are MLA, APA, and CMS.
The writer should choose the most appropriate style for their paper.
The writer should also be sure to include in-text citations and references.
DSST Principles of Advanced English Composition Trivia Question #345
5. Conclusion: DSST Principles of Advanced English Composition
In conclusion, the DSST Principles of Advanced English Composition Exam is a challenging but achievable examination for students with the required knowledge and skills.
The exam covers various topics, from types of writing to reading and writing arguments, and uses secondary sources.
By thoroughly preparing for the exam and practicing their skills, students can earn credit for knowledge equivalent to that learned in an English Composition course.
Take advantage of our free practice exams to determine if our resources are suitable for you!
6. Student Resources
DSST Principles of Advanced English Composition Fact Sheet