This is a question for the Board of Teaching. Maybe you could ask your principal to send a version of this to Karen Balmer.

The all-purpose essay form For next week, (5/21/2013), you're going to write an essay based on the "all-purpose essay" -- and you're going to send it to me at

(That is close to my birthday, so don't fail me on this.)

Information on the MTLE Basic Skills Test (from the MTLE Website)

The MTLE Basic Skills Writing Objectives (from the MTLE Website)

Gambling Prompt (4/23/2013)

A standard Introduction

Gambling essays

MTLE Writing by the Numbers

This is my attempt to break down the MTLE Reading test by the numbers -- points per item, required number of items correct, time per item, etc.

MTLE Writing: Hacking the Essay

My attempt to estimate how points are designated to the two MTLE essays ... and some strategies for highest score.

MTLE Possible Writing Topics

These seem to be the types of prompts used for the MTLE Writing Assignments -- both the descriptive and the analytical.

MTLE-Similar Writing Tests

These tests seem to be similar in objectives and format to the MTLE Writing test:

  • Michigan Test for Teacher Certification ... this is one of the BEST examples of the writing test ...

    because the Sample Responses (starting on page 47) include RATIONALES for the scores.

    Here's the Michigan Prompt:



Is this a useful tool to prepare for the MTLE writing test? is a free online grader that will give you immediate feedback on any writing that you cut and paste in. It gives feedback on writing, word choice, and transitions -- then gives you a final score.

Here's the essay being graded.

One warning -- it looks like it ALWAYS tells you that you need more vocabulary ... probably because the site is trying to get you to pay for their vocabulary development product.

Also, this site doesn't pay attention to your content. There's a for-pay essay grading program -- ETS's Criterion -- that does analyze your actual content -- using very sophisticated artificial intelligence. But you can't use that ... 'cuz it's not free.

One thing ... I have no idea whether or not this is useful. The grader may be too stupid and -- EVEN WORSE -- it may focus you in on mechanical considerations -- which is the wrong way to go with this.


A Descriptive Essay

Here's a quick attempt at writing to one of those "someone who influenced you" prompts. But it's nto a good example because it's too literary.