Breaking Traditions

I love reading and writing. I get the opportunity to go into many classrooms where reading and writing are being taught. It opens my eyes to the humanity and contribution of new and veteran teachers. It excites me to see students engaged, excelled, and struggled through the learning process. I love seeing it all because it tells me that discovering is taking place, that struggling to learn is a good thing because the brain is trying to make sense of concepts, that cognitive and metacognitive thinking skills are being developed and shaped. When it comes to writing a multi-paragraph essay, it has been the tradition that students write the introductory paragraph first and the rest follows. I also attended writing classes where this same concept was advocated. I ask myself, “Why would you teach students to write the introduction paragraph first when they don’t even have anything to introduce?” Wouldn’t it make sense to write the body paragraphs first, so that the introduction makes sense? I’ve observed this is why so many students start off with a good introduction and great thesis only to find that the body of the writing is completely on a different topic; the writing gets off tangent because they write an introduction to something that is not even there. Logically, it feels very awkward when someone asks me to introduce someone I have no idea about; it is then I start to ask for more information before I venture into the assignment resulting in an exciting or shocking introduction. It is no different when it comes to writing a multi-paragraph essay. I find many students struggle with writing introductory paragraphs mainly because they do not know what to write, but when they know the meat of their writing first, why they are writing, and who their audience is, then they are able to compose a beautiful and powerful introduction. So, I am breaking tradition by having students write the body of the piece first so that the introduction and conclusion make better sense.

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One thought on “Breaking Traditions

  1. That is true! This is why some students are struggle with writing essays or paragraphs because some english teacher don’t show them how to write an essay. But I’m lucky that I’m in your english class and thank you for teaching me how to write an essay and paragraphs.

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