Date of publication: 2017-09-04 08:50
Another damaging aspect of using five paragraphs is that students find it almost impossible to do anything but write in expository paragraphs. If we use Aristotle's original form instead, students are able to incorporate compare/contrast, cause/effect, definition, or analysis paragraphs as appropriate. We'll have more modes to teach students will have more options.
The Common Core site also states that "these standards define the knowledge and skills students should have within their K-67 education careers so that they will graduate high school able to succeed in entry-level, credit-bearing academic college courses and in workforce training programs. The standards:
Due to the popularity of this post since May, in October I wrote about strategies for effective narrative writing --especially for personal statements--that avoid the traditional five-paragraph form.
I am horrified when high school English teachers tell me they unteach five paragraph essays, which kids often learn in middle school. I am disturbed because the students arrive to my college English course with no sense of structure or organization and I have to reteach all of these basic skills. Maybe this philosophy is one of the reasons why so many students arrive to college with deficient writing skills.
If you are coming from overseas to study in the UK you might also find it useful to visit our international pages or our guidance on how UK qualifications relate to those in other European countries.
According to the Common Core Web site, the "standards provide a consistent, clear understanding of what students are expected to learn, so teachers and parents know what they need to do to help them. The standards are designed to be robust and relevant to the real world, reflecting the knowledge and skills that our people need for success in college and careers."
Please let me know how Aristotle's form goes. One part that has helped me help students with the background section is to tell them their audience is someone who is not in our class and has not read or viewed the texts we have.
This form should also not be the form for a narrative essay. For that, we should follow the example of NPR This I Believe essays. While personal essays do carry a subtextual argument, they are not intended to persuade. They are written so we can experience what we have not or find solidarity through what we have.
Besides allowing for instructional consistency among states, the states help align instruction vertically so one grade's instruction leads to the next.
Aristotle called the last part of the persuasive event the epilogue. Unlike the five-paragraph essay that begins with "As you can see..." and leaves the reader thinking, "Why are you telling me what you told me a couple minutes ago? I'm not stupid," Aristotle, in The Rhetoric , tells us a good writer should do this in the conclusion: "make the audience well-disposed towards ourselves and ill-disposed to our opponent." One way to achieve this is to explain the benefits if the audience accepts our view. It's a good opportunity for students to make inferences or predictions.
Ray, my students are more advanced than just writing a blank, blank, and blank thesis. They are expected to write an arguable thesis that doesn't involve "listing" their main points. You're making a false assumption that this is how I teach my students.
Please realize that I've taught for many years and have seen a great many methods come and go, but the Aristotelian model still provides the most effective scaffold for both expository and argumentative writing, and it does not exclude the 5 paragraph essay model.