Teaching 5 Paragraph Essays

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It gives you a test you can apply to your writing, but not a formula for writing it.

Writers who internalize this need to think harder, not less.

In classes with mixed objectives, there's a need for balance to make sure that students who don't necessarily need the task at hand still profit from the lesson.

This is never truer than when teaching essay writing skills.

And having struggled to put them into persuasive words, you learn a bit more about how to think. There are plenty of good reasons to write in the passive voice, and sometimes the best lede is not a summary.

That’s worth a lot more than jar-filling, but it’s harder to grade and demands a smaller class. Start with title and lede that delivers your meaning. Am I just turning out a collection of writers following a different, but equally corrupting, series of rules? I’ve provided guidelines that I think are helpful; think of them as a set of tools. I don’t specify structure and I don’t supply templates — you have to think those up on your own.

Provide a simple essay to students and ask them to identify various structures / written objectives: I like to help students by first explaining that an essay is like a hamburger.

It's certainly a crude analogy, but students seem to get the idea of the intro and conclusion being like the buns, while the content is the good stuff.

Labaree’s piece, published in Aeon, is expertly reasoned, thoughtful, and convincing.

As he argues: Schools and colleges in the United States are adept at teaching students how to write by the numbers.


Comments Teaching 5 Paragraph Essays

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