Responding to text-dependent analysis questions require students to “draw evidence from literary or informational texts to support analysis, reflection, and research.” To respond to a TDA prompt, students must read literary and/or informational text and then write an essay response that draws evidence, both explicit and implicit, from the text to support their analysis using effective written communication knowledge and skills. This practice of close, analytic reading requires students to critically examine a text to analyze the deep structures and big ideas and then provide evidence from the text in support of their responses. TDA prompts, therefore, represent a move beyond general reading comprehension questions, such as “What is the main idea?”, to specific questions that require students to draw evidence from the text in defining their response and explaining the relevance of that evidence in writing.
The following series of video modules, sponsored by the Pennsylvania Department of Education, have been created to assist educators in understanding and deepening their knowledge of text-dependent analysis questions.
Text Dependent Analysis (TDA) questions are a new item type on the Pennsylvania System of School Assessment (PSSA) which has been developed in response to the PA Core Standards. This item type requires students to closely read and analyze text passages and articulate their analysis in writing using text evidence to substantiate their response. These papers summarize the results of two exploratory studies on the range of skills and competencies necessary for successful student performance, how those skills are interrelated, and the impact of targeted professional development on teacher understanding of – and student performance on – reading comprehension, analysis, and essay writing in response to a TDA prompt.