Posts Tagged ‘templates


The Five-paragraph Fix: A new template

The other day, I asked groups of first-year students to identify the five biggest differences between high school writing and college writing.¬†When they finished, I asked how many of the groups said something about leaving the five-paragraph essay behind. Nearly all of them. I asked why. One said, “We can’t just fill in the blanks and end up with a good essay.”

Then, I asked, “How many of you just wrote down the first five differences that came into your head?” All of them raised their hands.

That’s a problem.

Student’s are quick to figure out the limitations of the five-paragraph essay, but that’s not a fix. They still need to break the habit of just filling in the blanks and learn to exercise their critical thinking skills.

Let’s start that process off by giving them better blanks to fill. Continue reading ‘The Five-paragraph Fix: A new template’


Good Writer, Bad Writer

Good writer, bad writer reflects the philosophy behind the first writing lesson I attempt to teach students. Too many of them come into college believing that their writing abilities are set in stone. The bad writers continue to struggle, and the good writers don't take enough risks in their writing, figuring that any misstep will throw them back into the "bad writer" category.

Good writer, bad writer is my attempt to break the power of that dichotomy. On here, I share the lessons and attitudes that I teach, but I also talk about the attitudes I have towards my own writing since many of those have informed my own teaching. Thanks for visiting.

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