The Basics of Teaching Writing Essays

The Basics of Teaching Writing Essays

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Writing in an educational setting is essential. Writing in a real world setting is also essential. So why is the emphasis of teaching basic writing skills going away. As a teacher in a sixth grade classroom in Utah, I see students who cannot form a complete sentence let alone a solid paragraph. Many students do not capitalize the beginnings of their sentences or end them with proper punctuation marks. Forming a complete thought seems to be a skill beyond many of these students grasp. The instructional unit written for this project goes back to the basics of teaching writing in an effort to improve the ability of sixth grade students.
What I did
It all began with simple observations and then complex frustration when sixth grade students entered the classroom and were unable to write complete sentences or paragraphs. The mechanics of writing had either slipped through the cracks or the students were unable to learn it. It was doubtful the second was the true statement. Beginning in sixth grade and continuing through high school graduation, the emphasis on writing in the Utah State Core Curriculum increases. In grades prior to sixth, students learned basics, but often were not given many opportunities to practice what they had learned. I began formulating plans to improve the review unit in writing to help foster students' abilities in writing. The formulation of these plans led to simple and concise lessons that focus on the basics of writing. Not the basics of writing in the sense of forming letters on the paper, but the basics of good writing in relation to grammar, punctuation, capitalization, complete and complex sentences, and the formatting of paragraphs and sentences to meet to expectation of ...

... middle of paper ...

8. What assessment pieces were not effective?
9. How could the assessment evaluations be more effective?
10. How could the assessment evaluations be more learner-friendly?
Goal Statement
When given an assignment to write a 5 paragraph narrative essay, students will be able to write at a sixth grade level including correct use of indentation and formatting of paragraphs, writing complete sentences, correct use of punctuation at the end of each sentence and with the text of each sentence, and correct use of introductory sentences, supporting detail sentences and concluding sentences.

Manzo, K. (2008). More students master "basics” on writing NAEP. (Cover Story). Education Week, 27(32) 1-16
Edutopia (n.d.) Does Text Messaging Harm Students' Writing Skills. Retrieved July 28, 2011, from

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