Essay Writing Scaffold

Essay Writing Scaffold-74
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Have students begin a writing task—like an autobiography or observation essay, or something more specific, like a restaurant or video game review—by looking at various examples.

The first short scaffolding task might be to write a paragraph about which examples the students preferred, what one technique an author used that they would like to try, and what one choice a writer made that they would never do, then—for all these points—explain why.

Help students get past the idea that writing must be right the first time. I suggest to my students that all writers are developmental writers—that we all learn, change, and adapt as we read, write, and live.

They may then become open to different ways of organizing, gain new insights, and consider additional details that the audience might need to know. I also suggest to them that writing is like a sport, that it requires practice, coaching, and time, and that my role is more akin to coach and umpire than teacher.

After they have written at least one more draft, have the students complete their assignments and hand them in.

Although there might be deadlines and length requirements (just as there are in the professional writing world), you can encourage students to revise and expand individual assignments after submission if they are not happy with the results.By continuing to use this site, you consent to the use of cookies.We use cookies to offer you a better experience, personalize content, tailor advertising, provide social media features, and better understand the use of our services.At the end of the course, have students complete portfolios and reflect on their work.This last task allows them to decide if they have developed a writing process that they can use in other courses and elsewhere.Next, introduce a planning tool, where the students note their topics, their possible main points or examples, and their audience, and then have the students explain why they chose the particular topics and examples.After a class or group discussion, this tool can become the basis for a draft, presented to the class or discussed in groups.Each essay calls for historical background — — in the first paragraph, in order to orient the reader to what was happening at the time.When students cite an author and document as support, they are asked to provide information about the author that will help explain his or her perspective on the topic.Students are often convinced that they lack whatever allows “real” writers to get it right the first time. I’ve found that scaffolding assignments—creating a structure of smaller tasks before and after the first draft—is most effective.(I felt the same way about calculus when I was a first-year college student.) Teaching these students requires much individual attention, instruction tailored to each student’s needs, flexible deadlines, and scaffolding of assignments. Below I offer suggestions for how to create a scaffold for your students.


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