Essay scaffolding is, essentially, the process that tutors can use in organizing writing activities in a systematic manner. A typical essay scaffold template includes a process of six steps which can be modified to suit any ability or grade levels.
This article outlines the characteristic six-step process of writing an essay using the scaffold approach. In addition, there is a sample map providing a description of the entire writing activity and also suggestions on how to write an effective assessment.
Our proffesionals have prepared some useful pieces of advice on how you could impove your writing.
Just like a majority of learning and teaching approaches, it is crucial to emphasize consistency in the essay writing scaffold process. Development of an approach that is structured and which can be used for writing any form of essay is the most effective way of creating thorough writers. Using a standard approach is also the best way of creating a way to generalize the essay writing process.
Typically, the writing process entails a few steps. Basically, this is an approach applied by tutors to train students in developing ideas from just arbitrary thoughts to a coherently written essay. The essential process of writing using the scaffolding approach includes steps such as:
- Brainstorming on potent ideas
The process of brainstorming on potent ideas implies that the writer has to haphazardly think of random thoughts that could be used in the essay. Characteristically, the process of brainstorming is guided by the instructor before giving the learners the task of completing the essay. Using graphic organizers like frames or maps are some of the most effective ways of completing this step.
- Outlining the paper
The essay outline is perfect for organizing the ideas and thoughts obtained from the brainstorming process. A perfectly constructed essay outline should enable students to visualize various suitable topics for the paper and the body paragraphs for the paper.
- Coming up with a rough draft
The process of converting an essay outline into a rough draft is pretty simple and straightforward but extremely crucial. A great essay outline should identify the essay sections such that students can be able to convert the ideas in the essay outline into a more coherent text.
- Evaluating the ideas and thoughts presented in the essay
The process of evaluating thoughts and ideas entails teacher and peer proofing and making edits to work. The instructor, typically, provides a checklist of instructions and questions. The instructions and questions have both general items in the list such as the grammar and spelling, and more specific items such as the length of sentences and the accurate number of body paragraphs required. These items in the checklist are meant to guide the instructor in evaluating the work in this step. Learners are required to use the feedback obtained from the evaluation process to correct mistakes in the work.
- Crafting the final draft
After considering all the correction suggestions from the instructor, students can then proceed to make the final paper draft. Usually, the final draft is a copy of the work that is handwritten which is submitted by the student for grading. This step is not compulsory, but sometimes it is necessary for learners to review the correction suggestions with their instructors before drafting up the final copy.
- The publishing stage
This is, irrefutably, the peak stage in the essay writing process. Students are encouraged to come up with some kind of a creative idea that will enhance the effectiveness of their work. This stage entails the incorporation of some aspects of technology, drama, music, and art in the lesson and may even offer some incentive for the completion of the task of writing the essay. The process outlined above is applicable for almost any form of essay writing even essay scaffold hsc.
For an English essay scaffold technique to be successful, the writer has to first develop a well-structured procedure or foundation. It is crucial for the instructor to provide the students with the requisite support to handle the work. Afterwards, the instructor should decrease the help rendered progressively to the point that the student can handle the work without much struggle.
Here, it is advisable to use a graphic organizer. The instructor should give students details for all the five senses and their relevance to the experiences of the students. After making a description of what one has smelled, tasted, heard, seen, and touched, the writers should enumerate those descriptions so as to aid them in organizing their thoughts. Using a graphic organizer helps students in ordering their ideas by placing small subscript numbers to the right of critical ideas.
A great example of a graphic organizer approach used by most Aussie writers is the webbing technique. This technique helps writers to indicate the “primary topic” and the auxiliary ideas that serve to support the principal topic. The lines between the two forms of topics stand for all the details that writers could use in describing all the five senses.
The information that writers indicate in this stage largely depends on the writers’ level of abilities and prowess in writing. For instance, students with an advanced prowess in writing could have the capability of completing a general paper outline. In addition, the way different students outline their work varies. Some students may use fully structure sentences, while some may prefer supplying just a few words or phrases. Transitioning to the third step (writing the rough draft) is smoother when students use full sentences.
This is the stage where writers begin compiling all the information and details from the preceding stages into a flowing and coherent thoughts. Students are encouraged to make use of transition phrases and words to move smoothly from the preceding stages into the rough draft stage. Here, students could also use sentences of varying lengths and formats to bring an aspect of variation. It is typical for most students to get overwhelmed at this stage of the writing process and start to worry too much about grammar and spelling in their paper. It is, therefore, important to emphasize to them that this is just a rough draft and mistakes are bound to happen. As such, they should not worry too much about errors.
Pausing to ask a few questions is a great and effective way for learners to break down complex and large chunks of text. So, exactly does the pause and review technique work? In this approach, the learner selects a novel idea from the discussion board, takes time to think over the idea and then makes a strategic inquiry into that idea.
The secret to getting this technique right is by designing the questions to ask in advance. The questions should be guiding, specific, strategic, and unrestricted. It is important to remind students that even the best and most strategic questions fail if the writer does not take time to respond to them.
For instructors, it is recommended to always keep the students engaged by asking them to recap what you have taught. If the learners show that they do not completely understand the questions, it is advisable for instructors to offer the learners a chance to discuss the questions among themselves.
Outlined below are some crucial tips for use in the scaffolding approach:
- Addressing the question’s terms
It is strongly recommended to address the question immediately instead of circumventing around it.
- Thesis statement formulation
This step could also be termed as developing on the question’s terms. Here, writers need to unpack the essay’s thesis statement while responding to the essay’s question. This is the perfect time to explain why one thinks in a particular way and how they achieved that way of thinking.
- Demonstrating comprehension of the text/ Giving a specific response to the question
Writers should critically evaluate ideas in this step. Some of the questions that should be answered in demonstration of comprehension of the text include; why someone feels like the text speaks to them or why the ideas or themes still have relevance in the present time. It is worth mentioning that giving a personal response is not all about using the pronoun “I,” but instead it is all about the themes and ideas that the writer chooses to examine, the manner in which they explore these ideas and their evaluation. This step is particularly crucial for a drama essay scaffold or a history essay scaffold because writers need to demonstrate that they completely understand the topic.
That being said, it is evident that the scaffolding process is not an easy one. Nevertheless, it is not impossible to handle, as well. All a student needs is a well-outlined step-by-step process such as the one above. The students struggling to use this approach in writing an effective essay can always count on our service to help them.
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