February 3, 2021

Improving Student Writing

Using task analysis may help students improve their writing. Task analysis involves breaking a process up into smaller learning components. If writing is broken down into manageable parts, students may progress to a finished product with greater confidence and success. 

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It may be helpful to model steps 1 - 5 with a class writing sample before students try the process on their own.

1. Brainstorming

Once students are given a topic or writing task, give them an opportunity to brainstorm what they know and thoughts they have about a topic. This can be done on a brainstorming worksheet or even a sticky note. 

2. The Best Ideas

Have students circle the ideas they think are the best.

3. Graphic Organizer

Provide a graphic organizer that has boxes to place each sentence. The sentences will not be in paragraph form yet. If just starting out, have students work on just one paragraph. 

4. Rough Copy aka Sloppy Copy

Students write a paragraph in proper form using their graphic organizer as a guide.  Give students an opportunity to read their paragraph first to themselves and then out loud to a partner. Students are able to find and correct errors when they read out loud. Make a quick check of the sloppy copy before students write a final copy.

5. Final Copy

Students write their paragraph(s) out neatly on colored paper, fun writing paper, or type and print.

6. Craft

Select some writing assignments for display. Have students create a craft after the writing is complete because a hallway or bulletin board is a great place the display the work of these young authors! 


Here are a few writing resources that include graphic organizers to help students build confidence:

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A few years back, I asked students to begin writing, and the class looked at me with that collective blank expresssion. One student asked, "But where's our organizer?" That was all the proof I needed that this tool was helping students become successful writers! 


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