Education, Essays, Written Communication

My Dream Career: A 5-paragraph essay

English: Hands collaborating in co-writing or ...
Could I survive on writing alone? Or would I get too bored? | Image via Wikipedia

Earlier this morning, I wrote a post on teaching the 5-paragraph essay. In that post, I promised to share the essay I wrote for my Written Communication students this week. So, here it is…

My Dream Career

If you could have any job, what would you do? This is a typical first date question, job interview question, or composition class free writing topic, one whose answer may provide a great deal of insight into the life of the respondent. If you were to ask this question of me, my answer would surely provide insight into my psyche simply because the way I would answer is far different than the average American. Continue reading “My Dream Career: A 5-paragraph essay”

Education, Essays, Writers on Writing

Teaching the five-paragraph essay

English: Ernest Hemingway on safari, Kenya, 1954
Can't you just hear Hemingway mumbling about how bad first drafts suck? | Image via Wikipedia

Yesterday, my Written Communication students workshopped their very first essays of the semester. I don’t like to ever ask my students to do anything that I wouldn’t do myself, so I wrote an essay along with them.

Early in the semester, I asked them to write ideas for free writing topics on little slips of paper that I placed in an envelope. We do a 10 – 15 minute free write in every class session. Sometimes I have a topic planned, and sometimes I’ll pull a couple of their ideas from the envelope and let them choose one. Usually, unless I have something I need to do to prepare for the next portion of the class, I’ll sit and free write with them. I think this is a useful activity for any w Continue reading “Teaching the five-paragraph essay”