>Classroom: An Essay in 8 Easy Steps

>How to Write an Essay in 8 Easy Steps

(Any Age, in Any Grade)
If you were a fly on my classroom wall you would see my students using the writing process outlined below. 
Every week students are given a new assignment to complete, but they follow the same process from September until June. 
I have used this process successfully with students from grade one all the way to grade seven. 
All the best,
Ally
Write an Essay in 8 Easy Steps
1. Read the assignment carefully.
Now’s the time to ask questions if something seems unclear.
Example:
“Write a persuasive essay either for or against wearing school uniforms.”
2. Read a little, google a little.
Example:
Do a google search. 
Even though you may have chosen your side to the argument read both sides. See what you are up against. Make notes! 
(It should go without saying that you must to be careful not to plagiarize! 
This step is just to get your creative juices going.)
3. Think a lot.
Example:
After mulling it over, put the assignment away. 
Simply think about the assignment every now and then. Talk about it with friends and relatives. 
Let your ideas simmer, gel and grow.
4. Get your hands on a graphic organizer.
Example:
Use a search engine! Google: “graphic organizer persuasive essay”. 
Find the one that speaks to you. Print and complete. Use jot notes only.
(e.g.: http://www.cheney268.com/learning/organizers/Persuasive.htm)
5. Just write!
Example:
Reread the organizer. If you think of anything to add (e.g. ideas, words) do that now. Use jot notes.
Now grab some lined paper or your keyboard and write! 
Don’t worry about spelling or “sounding good”.  
Just get your essay down on paper in proper essay format.
6. Let it get “cold”.
Example:
Put the essay away for a day. 
It’s best to go back to it later with fresh eyes. 

7. Edit, Edit, Edit!
Example:
After allowing your essay to get cold return to it for the editing process.
Read your first draft. 
What do you think? How can you make it better? For example, consider voice: Does your personality shine through? Are you convincing? 
Is your writing focused, clear and engaging? Does your word choice energize your writing? Have you varied your sentence structure?
Note: Make sure that your first sentence captures the reader’s attention. For suggestions see: http://ezinearticles.com/?Speech-Introduction:-How-to-Write-a-Speech-Introduction&id=312341 (This article refers to writing speeches but I believe that it applies here as well.) Make sure to end on a strong note as well!
Remember: We write to entertain as well as to inform!)


COPS” your work: focus on Capitalization, Organization, Punctuation, Spelling.

(Oh! & How many times should you re-write your essay? Well, that’s up to you!)

8. Publish
Example: Now its time for the good copy. Whether you type it or write it: Make sure that it “looks good” as well as sounds good!
Now share your essay with those around you!
Be proud of what you have created!
Well done!

Ally

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2 responses to “>Classroom: An Essay in 8 Easy Steps

  1. >Hi Ally,Great!I will share this with my students.We use the 6 Traits writing program at my school. This will gel nicely with the program.6 Traits:http://www.edina.k12.mn.us/concord/teacherlinks/sixtraits/sixtraits.htmlRachelWrites

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