Teaching students to write personal essays

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Teaching students to write personal essays

Steven Graham, Karen R. Harris, and Lynn Larsen This paper presents six principles designed to prevent writing difficulties as well as to build writing skills: Abstract Many students with LD experience difficulties mastering the process of writing.

We examine how schools can help these children become skilled writers.

Teaching the Personal Essay | Magical Teaching

Six principles designed to prevent as well as alleviate writing difficulties are presented. The mn was sneB translation: If theu go to like dutch countri sombodie might ask them something theu cold have two kinds of langage The two compositions presented above were written by Arthur Dent 1, a 5th-grade child with a learning disability LD.

The first was written at the start of 2nd grade in response to a picture of a young girl showing her father a large fish she had caught. The second exposition was Arthur's written reply to his 5th-grade teacher's query, "Should children have to learn a second language?

Teaching students to write personal essays

One, his responses are inordinately short, containing few ideas and little elaboration, and two, it is difficult to decipher his writing, because of spelling, punctuation, and capitalization miscues. Concern about Arthur's writing capabilities initially surfaced in 1st grade. His teacher observed that he was reluctant to write, often became frustrated while writing, and avoided working or sharing his writing with others.

Teachers in 2nd and 3rd grade indicated that Arthur would hurry through writing assignments, doing little or no planning in advance, and writing quickly, taking short pauses to think about the spelling of a word or what to say next.

They further noted that it was difficult to get him to revise his written work, and when he did revise, his efforts typically focused on making the paper neater, correcting spelling miscues, and changing a word here and there.

As a consequence of his difficulties with writing, Arthur was tested for learning disabilities at the start of 4th grade. Although his intellectual capabilities were within the normal range, he scored 2 standard deviations below the mean on a norm-referenced writing test, qualifying him for special education services.

Unfortunately, Arthur's difficulties with writing are not unique. They are shared by many other children with LD. Just like Arthur, children with LD typically employ an approach to composing that minimizes the role of planning in writing.

This approach to writing was illustrated in a recent Peanuts cartoon 2 where Charlie Brown's dog, Snoopy, is typing, "The light mist turned to rain. Like Snoopy, children with LD often compose by drawing any information from memory that is somewhat appropriate, writing it down, and using each idea to stimulate the generation of the next one.

Teaching students to write personal essays

With this retrieve - and-write process little attention is directed at the needs of the audience, the constraints imposed by the topic, the development of rhetorical goals, or the organization of text.

Another Peanuts cartoon involving Snoopy as well as his most ardent critic, Lucy, captures a second similarity between Arthur and other poor writers with LD. After typing, "Dear Sweetheart," Snoopy gives his paper to Lucy for feedback.

She quickly informs him that he should use a more endearing greeting.Reflective essays describe an event or experience, then analyze the meaning of that experience and what can be learned from it. What makes an essay reflective is . How to Teach Your Students to Write an Essay.

Depending on the topic of an essay, students can start it with a story from their personal experience. This is a good way to grab an attention.

Tell your students how to conclude their essays appropriately. Explain, that it is not good to abrupt a piece of writing. And do not forget to. Writing Spaces: Readings on Writing, Volume 2, is a collection of Creative Commons licensed essays for use in the first year writing classroom, all written by writing.

The Online Writing Lab (OWL) at Purdue University houses writing resources and instructional material, and we provide these as a free service of the Writing Lab at Purdue. A comprehensive, coeducational Catholic High school Diocese of Wollongong - Albion Park Act Justly, love tenderly and walk humbly with your God Micah Anjali Enjeti, a writer, editor and also a creative writing instructor, joined us to teach The Art of Writing Compelling Personal Essays.

Over the course of an incredible hour, Anjali gave us tips on how to focus your essay.

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