U.S. History Practice for Gateway Writing Make Up

  • Steps for Practicing Writing for the Gateway Assessment

    Directions: Use the steps below to help you complete a practice Gateway writing task. Students are required to take this assessment in English; for that reason, the preparation materials provided for students are in English.

    Use the hyperlinks within the table to access additional resources.

      1. Break Down the Writing Task
        • Read the historical background, timeline, and writing task.
        • Underline Key Vocabulary.
        • Circle the verbs of what you're being asked to do.
      2. Connect what you know to the task
        • Write down the facts you know about the writing task.
        • Connect the documents to your ideas.
        • Determine how each document is connected to the facts you know.
      3. Pre-Writing
      4. Write Your Essay
        • Write an introduction using your claim.
        • Write your body paragraphs.
        • Write a conclusion.
      5. Review and Edit
        • Review your writing to check that the words from the documents are spelled correctly.
        • Read your essay and use the U.S. History checklist
          • Does it look right?
          • Does it sound right?
          • Does it make sense?

    Traits of an Effective Gateway Response

    These descriptors are provided to help you better understand the qualities of a passing Gateway response for each domain. Compare these descriptions to the descriptions of your performance on the front of this report to help you better understand how to improve your score when you re-take this assessment.


  • Responses that pass the Gateway assessment show an understanding of the U.S. History content. These essays include generally relevant and correct prior knowledge. The response includes some analysis and understanding of historical relationships referenced in the writing task.


  • Responses that pass the Gateway assessment effectively establish and link ideas. Focus and control is maintained through most of the essay. A controlling idea is established, and an easy to understand organizational structure with few inconsistencies is maintained. There is also a strong use of topic sentences and transitions.


  • Responses that pass the Gateway assessment show the right understanding of spelling, grammar, and punctuation. The words written from the documents are spelled correctly, but there may be some words spelled wrongly. Sentences are varied and generally avoid fragments and run-ons. Errors do not prevent the reader from understanding the writer’s meaning.