Teaching Essay Technique

[by Dave Greenhalgh]

Here is a technique that I use for helping students develop their essay technique for AS/A2. I take an essay from a former student and at the end of each paragraph is an empty text box.

hist essay

Word version: Teaching essay technique

At the bottom of the essay are the teacher’s comments and the students are to cut and paste the comments into the correct text boxes. It is a good idea to choose a weaker essay and then a strong essay.

The comments that I have added in red in the document are just quick examples and can be altered to suit your course specific comments and can also be made more specific to the actual essay being used.

It gets the students to read examples of essays of differing abilities and also helps them recognise where there are positives eg areas of argument and judgement and negatives such as narrative, lack of focus on the question and choice of language/phraseology.

 Quick and easy to do.

 As a follow up to this exercise, you can then get students in a computer room to answer an essay with empty text boxes after each paragraph and then get students to look at each other’s essays and add comments in the bottom box and then the students can cut and paste the comments in the correct boxes.

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