As we have mentioned before, writing is often one of the hardest tasks for our students. Even after remediation they struggle to apply skills at a higher level. It can be difficult for students to break up this monstrous task. Our goal is to support students by providing them a script or process that they can apply over and over as much as possible. We also want to teach our students that the same processes they have learned at the paragraph level apply to the essay level. If we can make this a clear repeatable process, students can focus more on the content of their ideas and the organization can just fall into place.
By following this step-by-step process our students can begin to have an essay format that works across all the subject areas and they can feel confident in following the steps to get a solid essay every time. Let's break it down:
Brainstorm your key details.
Determine whether the key details have enough "meat" to be viable within the essay structure.
Identify the key detail and outline three sentences to describe each detail.
- We start with a topic sentence that outlines the key detail.
- Next, we develop a brief summary using text evidence or information to support inclusion of the key detail.
- We finish with a concluding sentence that helps a reader understand why the key detail matters - this is the "who cares" sentence.
We repeat the process of Step 3 for our second key detail.
We repeat the process of Step 3 and 4 for our final key detail.
We create an Introduction paragraph.
We create a Conclusion paragraph.
We review and check for COPS focusing on Capitals, Organization, Punctuation, and Spelling.