COMPOSITIONAL RISK

"Compositional risk" refers to an attempt by an author to do something interesting, engaging, and unusual with his or her writing.  Successful compositional risk makes your writing unique in a good way; unsuccessful compositional risk makes it unique in a bad way. 

It is a "risk" because your attempt might make the writing great, but if it doesn't work, it could make the writing terrible. 

The NJASK 6-point rubric rewards controlled attempts (i.e., attempts clearly done purposefully by the writer, not accidents) at using compositional risks, even if the attempt fails. 

Click on specific sections for more information and/or examples.

Compositional Risk Matrix
FIGURATIVE LANGUAGE DIALOGUE THAT DRIVES ACTION AND ADDS CONTENT

WELL-USED DIALECT
SHIFT IN RHETORICAL MODE INTERVIEW TECHNIQUE UNCONVENTIONAL STRUCTURE
* Simile
* Metaphor
* Onomatopoeia * Narrative anecdotes
* Personification * Expository thought journey
* Alliteration * Poetic techniques
ADVANCED "STRETCH" VOCABULARY DIRECT AND INDIRECT QUOTATIONS SHIFTING ROLES SHIFTING TIMES AND EVENTS VARIED SENTENCE STRUCTURE
* Subject not first
ANTICIPATING THE OPPOSITION * Flashback * Varied length
* Foreshadowing * Fragments for effect
* Frames * Controlled compound and complex sentences
EFFECTIVE (LEADING) RHETORICAL QUESTIONS THAT DO MORE THAN REPEAT OR RESTATE THE PROMPT QUESTION TIGHTLY CONSTRUCTED PIECES, ESPECIALLY THOSE THAT FOLLOW A MOTIF THROUGHOUT OR REVISIT AN INTRODUCTORY IDEA IN THE CONCLUSION WELL-PACED AND WELL-USED DATA INTEGRATED INTO THE WRITER'S ARGUMENT, NOT JUST THROWN IN FOR EFFECT VIVID DESCRIPTION AUTHORIAL VOICE
* Color * Quirkiness
* Size * Perception
* Number * Imprint of self
* Sound * Surprise
* Mood/emotion * Humor

Voice list provided by Tom Romano

Original matrix by Christina Vreeland, Woodbridge Township Schools; links & additional info by Steve Tetreault, Holmdel Township Schools