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For example, they need close reading methods, so they can make discoveries in the text and talk back to it.Close reading is what lets students see how to find evidence from the text rather than from common sense or general knowledge.A little while back, we wrote an essay arguing against killing off the undergraduate essay.
Students can typically understand the structure with just a short amount of instruction.
In addition, these essays allow students develop critical thinking skills to approach a variety of topics.
Instead, we’re in favor of inquiry-based learning, evidence-rich analysis and process work.
In other words, we believe in asking students to write the kinds of essays we write ourselves -- and in giving students the tools to do that. In fact, to do it on a large scale may require wholesale rethinking of academic structures.
Some writers argued for the five-paragraph essay or other formulaic models, on the grounds that clear expectations at least give underprepared students something to work with.
Others advocated replacing the essay with more “real-world” forms that would force students to think in fresh ways.
As you look through the list you will see that some items are academic in nature while others are included for interest-building and fun writing activities.
The essay form is still the best way for students to think hard on the page, but it should involve inquiry-based learning, evidence-rich analysis and process work -- not formulae, write Gwen Hyman and Martha Schulman.
We describe it as a story: a narrative that looks closely at a particular moment or occurrence or phenomenon in a text, asks questions, comes up with analysis rooted in the text under consideration and takes up the implications of that analysis.
(By “text” we mean a literary work, artwork, event, engineering problem -- any document or piece of art, nature or science subject to careful scrutiny and analysis.) After looking closely at that first moment and figuring out what she thinks is going on there, and why it matters -- that is, after analyzing the phenomenon -- the student may apply what she’s learned to a second moment and ask a new question.