Power of the Pen

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One of the things that McDowell Middle School offers is Power of the Pen, also known as POP for short. Power of the Pen is something that people who enjoy writing, or creating stories can do for fun, all while challenging themselves. Power of the pen usually meets every Wednesday and usually every Friday, as long as nothing interrupts us or our mentor is here.     

During those Power of the Pen meetings, the students, and myself, are given a writing prompt, whether it be a few words, or a detailed sentence explaining what it is we have to write about. After given the writing prompt, students have about 30-40 minutes on writing a story about it, and the mentor, when the story is finished, will “grade” it. The Power of the Pen way of grading a paper is not with A’s and B’s, but with three different writing levels, which are superior, the highest, honor, the medium, and merit, the lowest grading level. The highest score, superior, ranges from 100-94, honors range from 93-82, and the lowest ranges with 81-75.

After all of these study sessions, sometime in February, our mentor chooses a few students out of the POP program and sends us to the competition of writing. The competitions are basically the same as the sessions during school, but we only get about 40 minutes to write the prompt, and we are competing against other schools to see who can write the best story.

I, myself, haven’t actually done that well in Power of the Pen, unfortunately, my highest scoring story was about 5 superiors out of the 6 grading things, which are creativity, voice/unity, structure/ideas, figurative/descriptive language, paragraph/ sentence structure, and lastly, mechanics/spelling. Although, honestly, I don’t think that I would want to be chosen for the competition team, because I feel like I’d probably mess up if I was actually writing for something important.


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