The Structured Writing process is an easy-to-use methodology that increases student communication, organization, and comprehension. This process becomes a cornerstone for all content areas. Teachers can infuse this process into direct instruction and into assessment. By engaging in the Structured Writing process students learn to reflect upon the meaning of key concepts. In addition, students become proficient at analyzing actions, events, and behaviors.
The Structured Writing process is comprised of six steps. Each step encourages students to explore an area of focus with greater depth. This exploration results in an investigation into the causes and impact of the focus. In essence, each step complements all previous steps and sets up the coherency and logic of what is to follow.
Structured Writing paragraphs can center on a multitude of focus areas, including the following:
• an explanation of the conclusion from a science experiment;
• an investigation into how an application of mathematical skills can result in a product beneficial to a certain group;
• an analysis of how character behavior leads to a character change;
• an exploration of how the behaviors of one group influence the actions of another group; and
• a personal reason for supporting a controversial issue.
Students can use the Structured Writing system to produce these paragraph types.
• expository paragraphs
• persuasive paragraphs
• personal narrative paragraphs
• paragraphs for a personal or business letter
• interpretive paragraph about a quotation or poem
Each of these paragraph types requires an in-depth analysis that pushes students to reflect about the learning or their experiences.