Writing an essay can be a daunting task for many students. How do you organize your ideas, structure your arguments, and present your evidence in a clear and coherent way? How do you avoid common pitfalls such as plagiarism, grammar errors, and weak thesis statements?
One way to approach essay writing is to use the I DO We Do You Do model. This is a teaching strategy that helps scaffold student learning through modeling and gradual release of responsibility. It involves three steps for practicing new skills:
– First, the teacher models how to do a task to the student (I DO).
– Second, the student does the task with guidance from the teacher (WE DO).
– Third, the student practices the task independently (YOU DO).
In this blog post, we will explain how you can apply this model to essay writing and improve your skills and confidence as a writer.
The first step of the I DO We Do You Do model is modeled instruction. This is where the teacher shows you how to write an essay by breaking it down into small, clear, understandable steps. The teacher may use visual aids such as process charts, outlines, or graphic organizers to help you understand the steps. The teacher may also use mnemonic patterns or acronyms as memory cues to help you remember key points.
For example, the teacher may use the following acronym to teach you how to write an introduction paragraph:
Start with a hook that grabs the reader’s attention and makes them want to read more.
Explain why your topic is important or relevant to your audience.
State your main argument or claim in one sentence.
Preview the main points or subtopics that you will discuss in your body paragraphs.
Express your stance or perspective on the issue.
The teacher may demonstrate how to write an introduction paragraph using this acronym by working on an example essay topic.
For example, if the essay topic is
“Should students wear uniforms in school?”
the teacher may write something like this:
>>>> Many schools around the world have adopted uniform policies for their students. Some people argue that uniforms promote discipline, equality, and academic performance. Others claim that uniforms stifle individuality, creativity, and self-expression.
In this essay, I will argue that students should not wear uniforms in school because they have negative effects on students’ identity, motivation, and well-being.
I believe that students should have the freedom to dress according to their own style and personality as long as they follow basic rules of decency and respect.
Notice how the teacher used bold text to highlight the thesis statement and opinion in the introduction paragraph. The teacher may also explain their thinking process as they write (think aloud) to help you understand their choices and strategies.
The teacher may also model how to write body paragraphs and conclusion paragraphs using similar acronyms or methods. For example, the teacher may use the following acronym to teach you how to write a body paragraph:
– Topic sentence:
Start with a sentence that introduces the main point or subtopic of the paragraph.
Explain what you mean by your topic sentence and how it relates to your thesis statement.
Provide specific examples, facts, statistics, quotes, or other sources that support your explanation.
End with a sentence that connects your point back to your thesis statement and transitions to the next paragraph.
The teacher may also use the following acronym to teach you how to write a conclusion paragraph:
Restate your thesis statement in different words.
Emphasize your main points or subtopics briefly.
Summarize your main argument or claim in one sentence.
End with a final thought, implication, recommendation, or call to action for your reader.
The teacher may check for your understanding by asking you questions at the end of each step or having you repeat the steps or acronyms in your own words.
The second step of the I DO We Do You Do model is guided practice. This is where you do the task with guidance from the teacher. The teacher may provide scaffolds such as prompts, hints, feedback, or partially completed procedures to help you. The teacher may also work with you in groups or pairs to facilitate collaboration and peer learning.
For example, the teacher may give you a different essay topic and ask you to write an introduction paragraph using the I.N.T.R.O method. The teacher may provide you with a hook sentence and a thesis statement and ask you to fill in the rest. The teacher may also give you a checklist or a rubric to help you self-assess your work.
Alternatively, the teacher may ask you to work with a partner or a small group and write an introduction paragraph together. The teacher may assign different roles or tasks to each member of the group, such as
The teacher may also ask you to share your work with another group and give each other feedback.
The teacher may also guide you through writing body paragraphs and conclusion paragraphs using similar methods. The teacher may gradually reduce the amount of support and scaffolding as you become more confident and proficient.
The third step of the I DO We Do You Do model is independent practice. This is where you do the task on your own without any guidance from the teacher. The teacher may give you a new essay topic and ask you to write a complete essay using the skills and strategies that you have learned.
The teacher may also give you some criteria or expectations for your work, such as word count, format, sources, or deadline, and may also ask you to reflect on your learning process and outcomes by asking you questions such as:
– What did you learn from this activity?
– What did you find easy or difficult about writing an essay?
– What strategies did you use to write an essay?
– How did you check or improve your work?
– How can you apply what you learned to other writing tasks or situations?
The teacher may also assess your work by using a rubric, a checklist, or a scoring guide. The teacher may also provide you with feedback on your strengths and areas for improvement.
The “I DO We Do You Do” model is a strategic phrase for essay writing that can help you improve your skills and confidence as a writer. It can help you learn how to organize your ideas, structure your arguments, and present your evidence in a clear and coherent way. It can also help you avoid common pitfalls such as plagiarism, grammar errors, and weak thesis statements.
By following this model, you can benefit from the teacher’s modeling, guidance, scaffolding, feedback, and assessment. You can also practice your skills in different contexts and levels of difficulty. You can also reflect on your learning process and outcomes and apply what you learned to other writing tasks or situations.
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