Date of publication: 2017-08-28 12:52
Of course it's rudimentary. It's a starting point to help students organize their thoughts in a coherent fashion. Starting points by definition are rudimentary. It's what the student does next that makes the difference.
I have no problem with the five-paragraph essay, as long as students are exposed to the idea that this format is only the beginning of good writing it is functional but mediocre. If one wants to improve his writing he must add/subtract whatever is necessary to accomplish the writer's goal (persuade, expound, etc.). Liberace was once asked how he had become such an outstanding pianist. His reply was that he learned to play "by the rules" and once he had mastered the basics, added embellishments that represented him and his personality.
I couldn't agree more—we need to actively teach students out of using the five-paragraph essay, which is little more than an organizational framework. To that end, I have created a framework that encourages original thinking, close reading, and connecting core texts to the contemporary world.
In law school, I learned the infamous IRAC format (issue, rule, application of the rule, and conclusion). I personally prefer the variation of IRAC known as CREAC (conclusion, rule, explanation of the rule application of the rule, and conclusion again).
I used to believe we could just ask software designers to take on moral responsibility for how they shape the billions of minutes and hours of other people 8767 s lives . But you can 8767 t design 8775 responsibly 8776 when it conflicts with the business incentives you are obligated, by law, to maximize.
I'm glad that argumentative writing is at the forefront of the Common Core standards, and I am now seeing far more ELA teachers in general involved in the discussion about teaching kids to write. I hope that this new generation of students who seem to think that if it can't be texted it doesn't need to be written, will now be taught to write through a variety of methods. So I salute you for putting forward your blog and will continue to look in on it from time to time.
I shouldn 8767 t have to cite statistics about the central role screens play in our lives. Billions of us turn to smartphones every day. We wake up with them. We fall asleep with them. You 8767 re looking at one right now.
Just like we have built-in gustatory instincts for salt, sugar and fat that are incredibly useful for survival on the Savannah but abused by our modern food environment , Huxley knew we have built-in instincts for novelty, curiosity gaps, social approval and fear of missing something important. These instincts are useful to have on the Savannah but our media environment adversarially exploits them to keep us glued to screens.
Aristotle's form works only for persuasive essays--which need to be part of our educational system more often. We just need to make sure that we are presenting students with persuasive prompts that have more than one reasonable response.