Writing Strategies User's Guide

The purpose of this book and its companion volume is to help ESL students at the pre-college, community college, and college level meet the requirements of academic and professional writing. There is sufficient material in the two books for two semesters of work.

The texts are the source material for implementing a course in which teachers have ample time to work individually with students. As the term "student-centered" in the sub-title implies, the students spend most of their class time at work on their writing skills. They learn to develop the skills of writing by writing, not listening to the teacher, or reading long explanations.

There are three sections in each of the two books. Each section features a different aspect of writing skills development. The sections are Rhetorical Modes, Fluency Writing, and Grammar.

Rhetorical Modes are the focus of the first and basic section of each book. Most writing skills texts focus on these modes. Those covered in the two books are:

Intermediate Modes Advanced Modes
Description Process
Narration Cause and Effect
Exposition Extended Definition
Comparison and Contrast Argumentation

The Fluency Writing section engages the students in a structured alternative to free writing or journal writing. Each activity involves pairs or triads of students in cooperative speaking, listening, and reading work with an article about real-world topics. In the final step of each activity, the students write paragraphs with the details of the article without looking at it. This requires them to make active use of the new vocabulary and sentence styles they have just worked with.

The Grammar section is a series of activities that focus on grammatical terminology and grammatical problems typically encountered by intermediate and advanced level students as they develop their skill in accurate and proficient compositions. There are two types of activities - one type involves the students working individually on a grammar problem. The other involves groups of three students working together on the problem.

The three sections can be used in a variety of ways, but a recommended procedure is to use the Rhetorical Modes section as the basis, proceeding step-by-step through the eight modes. The Fluency Writing is done at any time during the course when there is a natural break during the work on the Rhetorical Modes. The Grammar activities can also be done at any time when it is apparent that it is needed, although there are suggestions throughout the Rhetorical Modes section for using these activities.

Used together, the three sections of the book provide challenge and variety to the students while allowing the teacher time to work one-on-one with the students.


User's Guide

Book One: Teacher's Guide

Writing Strategies One: Answers

Writing Strategies Two: Answers

Back to Writing Strategies Page


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