Essay-Writing Skills for C/D borderline students<br />Richard Lindo<br />C/D borderline students often struggle to ‘get th...
They don’t intuitively know how to write essays and so, often, give-up</li></ul>It is, of course, essential that C/D borde...
Essay-writing techniques to boost students' confidence and grades
Essay-writing techniques to boost students' confidence and grades
Essay-writing techniques to boost students' confidence and grades
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Essay-writing techniques to boost students' confidence and grades

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Two simple techniques to improve students' essay writing.

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Essay-writing techniques to boost students' confidence and grades

  1. 1. Essay-Writing Skills for C/D borderline students<br />Richard Lindo<br />C/D borderline students often struggle to ‘get their heads’ around essay-writing. <br />This is often because of two things:<br /><ul><li>Their understanding of the content (e.g. Shakespeare/poetry) is weak
  2. 2. They don’t intuitively know how to write essays and so, often, give-up</li></ul>It is, of course, essential that C/D borderline students’ understanding of content is secure before asking them to articulate this understanding in an essay. <br />‘The 5 Thinking Steps’ (included in a separate strategy) helps to make analysis easy for C/D borderline students.<br />When understanding is secure, step (ii) – providing a simple system for essay-writing is necessary. <br />Essay-plans have often been used by teachers as a way of scaffolding the essay-writing process. However, this creates a dependence on the teacher rather than a system which leads to independence. <br />What follows are two simple systems which help C/D borderline students to develop their essay-writing skills. <br />System 1 is the ‘steps’ system. <br />System 2 is the ‘colour-key’ system.<br />Both systems are designed to develop independence in students. Both systems also help with AFL (Assessment for Learning) so you’re killing two birds with one stone!<br />ExampleGCSE – ShakespeareRomeo & JulietSystem 1 – The ‘Steps’ System<br /> The ‘steps’ system is a step-by-guide on how to write sentences in an essay. Students include the steps (i.e. 1,2,3, etc.) in their sentences.See the second slide for an example of the steps ‘in action’.<br />ExampleGCSE – ShakespeareRomeo & JulietSystem 1 – The ‘Steps’ System ‘in action’<br /> The example (below) shows the beginning of an essay.You will see numbers in the answer. The number is used each time a ‘step’ (i.e. 1,2,3 etc.) is used.This provides clear visual modelling for C/D borderline students.<br />ExampleGCSE – ShakespeareRomeo & JulietSystem 2 – The ‘Colour-Key’ System<br />The ‘colour-key’ system follows a similar format to the ‘steps’.Instead of ‘steps’ (i.e. 1,2,3 etc.), colours are used (see below). Colours help students to see what they’ve used and what they’ve missed.Students can then write *NEXT* for the colours to used next lesson.<br />ExampleGCSE – ShakespeareRomeo & JulietSystem 2 – The ‘Colour-Key’ System ‘in action’<br />This type of visual modelling is very effective for C/D borderline students.They can clearly see what to do and, critically, HOW to do it. By colour-coding their work, they automatically used AFL.Students can then write *NEXT* for the colours to used next lesson.<br />The ‘steps’ and ‘colour-key’ system work with C/D borderline students.Offering the choice of both allows you to personalise for your students. Both systems work for all types of essay-writing.It’s just a case of adapting the ‘steps’ / ‘colour key’ based on the content.<br />

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