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Academic Writing Workshop


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Morning workshop presentation, given to a group of English teachers and teachers-in-training in Ledesma, Argentina

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Academic Writing Workshop

  1. 1. Academic Writing Workshop Methods and Skills to Create Strong Writers
  2. 2. Why Teach Writing? <ul><ul><li>Students need strong writing skills in every subject they study </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Technology is eroding formal writing skills faster every day </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Without a strong background in writing students will be unable to succeed in higher level academics </li></ul></ul>
  3. 3. Problems in Teaching Writing <ul><ul><li>Students have a variety of skills from different backgrounds </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Different subjects require different writing skills </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Many subject teachers are not trained to teach writing along with their content </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Students resist long writing assignments. </li></ul></ul>
  4. 4. Designing Writing Assignments
  5. 5. Types of Essays <ul><li>To explain </li></ul><ul><li>To persuade </li></ul><ul><li>To compare or contrast </li></ul><ul><li>To reflect </li></ul><ul><li>To give opinion </li></ul><ul><li>To summarize </li></ul><ul><li>To tell a story (creative writing) </li></ul><ul><li>To prove (thesis) </li></ul>
  6. 6. Defining Objectives <ul><li>What is the purpose of the assignment? </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Example: to practice, to evaluate, to share </li></ul></ul><ul><li>What content will be evaluated? </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Example: vocabulary, information from a reading </li></ul></ul><ul><li>What skills will be evaluated? </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Example: sentence structure, using quotes from a reading </li></ul></ul>
  7. 7. Creating a Rubric (Scoresheet) <ul><li>Identify a few objectives for the assignment that will be evaluated. </li></ul><ul><li>Clearly define what students must achieve. </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Examples: </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Length -Persuasiveness -Organization </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Grammar -Capitalization -Editing </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Spelling -Quality of info. -Punctuation </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Vocabulary -Amount of info. -Voice/Tone </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Facts -Argument -Accuracy </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><li>Focus on only a few for each assignment! </li></ul>
  8. 8. The 5-Step Writing Process created by teachers in Arlington, MA, USA
  9. 9. 5- Step Writing Process <ul><li>Think </li></ul><ul><li>Gather Information </li></ul><ul><li>Organize </li></ul><ul><li>Write </li></ul><ul><li>Edit </li></ul>
  10. 10. Step 1: Think <ul><li>Plan what to write. </li></ul><ul><li>Students Ask: </li></ul><ul><li>“ Do I know all of the information that I need?” </li></ul><ul><li>“ Where can I find information I do not know?” </li></ul>
  11. 11. Brainstorm Good vs. Evil Violence supernatural religion Eventuality of death
  12. 12. Step Two: Gather Information <ul><li>Take notes </li></ul><ul><li>Make lists </li></ul><ul><li>Make sure you have enough information to answer the question or complete the task! </li></ul>
  13. 13. Step Three: Organize <ul><li>Organize data by topic. </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Example: If students are writing about a story, one paragraph would have information about characters, another paragraph would be about plot, etc </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Arrange in the order you will write </li></ul><ul><li>Create an outline of the data </li></ul><ul><li>Start with an introduction </li></ul><ul><li>End with a conclusion </li></ul>
  14. 14. Five-Paragraph Essay Format Paragraph One: Introduction Paragraph Two: Supporting Detail #1 Paragraph Three: Supporting Detail #2 Paragraph Four: Supporting Detail #3 Paragraph Five: Conclusion
  15. 15. Sample Outlines
  16. 16. Step Four: WRITE! <ul><li>Following your outline, write the essay. </li></ul><ul><li>Do not worry about making errors now, just get the words on the paper </li></ul><ul><li>Be sure to address all areas required for the assignment. </li></ul>
  17. 17. Introduction Paragraph Begin with a general statement to catch the reader’s attention Briefly summarize the main points of the essay End with a main idea statement (thesis)
  18. 18. Conclusion Paragraph Restate the main idea Briefly summarize the most importance evidence Tell the importance of this essay, or how it connects to the world
  19. 19. Step Five: Edit <ul><li>Do not skip this step! </li></ul><ul><li>Many students resist editing- they want to be done as soon as possible. </li></ul><ul><li>Use one of the three methods described. </li></ul><ul><li>If necessary or if time allows, rewrite the essay without errors. </li></ul>
  20. 20. Three Types of Editing <ul><li>SELF EDITING: Re-read the entire essay, correcting any mistakes </li></ul><ul><li>TEACHER EDITING: Teacher will collect work, edit, and return for corrections. </li></ul><ul><li>PEER EDITING: Students exchange essays and edit their classmate’s work. </li></ul>
  21. 21. WHY THIS WORKS <ul><li>Students can use the method for ANY writing assignment </li></ul><ul><li>It takes an overwhelming assignment and separates it into smaller, easier to manage steps </li></ul><ul><li>It becomes habit if used frequently </li></ul>