This volume of ready-to-use writing proficiency lessons & activities gives classroom teachers and language arts specialists a powerful and effective tool for addressing curriculum standards and competencies at the eighth-grade level and preparing their students for comprehensive assessment testing. "Writing Proficiency Lessons & Activities" books are also available from Jossey-Bass at the fourth-grade level and the tenth-grade level. Included are a variety of easy-to-use, reproducible activity sheets that provide application and review the basic language skills as well as extensive practice in producing the types of writing called for in standardized tests. For easy use, the 240-plus student activity sheets are printed in a big 8-1/2" x 11" format that lays flat for photocopying.The activities are organized into nine sections. Here is just a sample of the topics covered in Sections 1-5: Choosing The Right Word: words often confused, prefixes, suffixes, synonyms, antonyms, homonyms, adverbs vs. adjectives, sensory words, similes, metaphors, and double negatives; Making Mechanics and Usage Work For You: apostrophes, hyphens, end marks, commas, semicolons, colons, quotation marks, titles, and misplaced modifiers; and Writing Sentences: subjects and predicates, subject-verb agreement, simple and compound sentences, complex sentences, sentence fragments, run-on sentences, and sentence types. It also includes: Writing paragraphs: writing a topic sentence, writing a concluding sentence, developing the topic, using tense consistently, using transitional words, and staying on the topic; and Essay Writing Techniques: brainstorming, clustering, outlining, writing an introductory paragraph with a question or a surprising statement, developing the topic using examples, avoiding irrelevant details, writing a concluding paragraph, proofreading, and writing a five-paragraph essay.