Beyond the Five-Paragraph Essay

Overview

Love it or hare it, the five-paragraph essay is perhaps the most frequently taught form of writing in classrooms of yesterday and today. But have you ever actually seen a five-paragraph essay outside of school walls? Have you ever found it in business writing, journalism, nonfiction, or any other genres that exist in the real world? Kimberly Hill Campbell and Kristi Latimer reviewed the research on the effectiveness of the form as a teaching tool and discovered that the research does not support the ...

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Beyond the Five Paragraph Essay

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Overview

Love it or hare it, the five-paragraph essay is perhaps the most frequently taught form of writing in classrooms of yesterday and today. But have you ever actually seen a five-paragraph essay outside of school walls? Have you ever found it in business writing, journalism, nonfiction, or any other genres that exist in the real world? Kimberly Hill Campbell and Kristi Latimer reviewed the research on the effectiveness of the form as a teaching tool and discovered that the research does not support the five-paragraph formula. In fact, research shows that the formula restricts creativity, emphasizes structure rather than content, does not improve standardized test scores, inadequately prepares students for college writing, and results in vapid writing.

In Beyond the Five-Paragraph Essay, Kimberly and Kristi show you how to reclaim the literary essay and create a program that encourages thoughtful writing in response to literature. They provide numerous strategies that stimulate student thinking, value unique insight, and encourage lively, personal writing, including the following:

Close reading (which is the basis for writing about literature)

Low-stakes writing options that support students' thinking as they read

Collaboration in support of discussion, debate, and organizational structures that encourage writing as exploration

A focus on students' writing process as foundational to content development and structure

The use of model texts to write in the form of the literature students are reading and analyzing

The goal of reading and writing about literature is to push and challenge our students' thinking. We want students to know that their writing can convey something important: a unique view to share, defend, prove, delight, discover, and inspire. If we want our students to be more engaged, skilled writers, we need to move beyond the five-paragraph essay.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781571108524
  • Publisher: Stenhouse Publishers
  • Publication date: 5/28/2012
  • Pages: 232
  • Sales rank: 502,072
  • Product dimensions: 7.30 (w) x 9.20 (h) x 0.70 (d)

Table of Contents

Acknowledgments viii

Chapter 1 Combating Formulaic Writing 3

Chapter 2 Establishing a Routine of Thoughtful Reading and Writing 13

Chapter 3 Reading Like a Writer 27

Chapter 4 Writing and Discussion in Support of Thinking 61

Chapter 5 Writing to Explore 79

Chapter 6 Writing as an Authority 93

Chapter 7 Writing with Mentors 115

Appendixes 143

Suggested Works 203

References 210

Index 217

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