How do I instruct students to develop their essay writing capacities in history?How do I instruct students to enhance their efforts at historical essay writing, including their recall of political...

How do I instruct students to develop their essay writing capacities in history?

How do I instruct students to enhance their efforts at historical essay writing, including their recall of political conditions as well as explaining the cultural impact of their history on their experience?

Asked on by vasundhra

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litteacher8 | High School Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

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Students writing essays in history need to have a firm grasp on their facts first. In my experience, when kids don't really understand the history they don't write decent essays. So I make sure kinds understand the question, kmow where they need to get the information, and have them create an outline of thier facts before they try to write.
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MaudlinStreet | High School Teacher | (Level 2) Senior Educator

Posted on

Students must be aware of how those political conditions impact their experience today. Any time you can connect your area of study to students' understanding of how their world is shaped, it stays with them. I agree with post #2, in peer editing. I use it in my AP English Literature classes, & it really allows students to explore the rubrics, building a mental picture of what creditable, good, and great essays look like in academia. In response to post #5, I'm not sure if you "hurt any feelings", but I'm curious as to whether you've never asked for help before. Did you instantly know how to do everything the first time you did it? Teaching is an incredibly complicated and intricate profession, & yes, in answer to your questions, credentialing programs don't often prepare us completely. Teaching is an occupation unlike any other, & you are never fully prepared until you're had the experience of leading a classroom. As a community, teachers rely on each other to share knowledge and experience. It is one of the strengths of the profession that most teachers want each other to succeed, and will offer the support that beginning teachers need. Finally, the time for asking questions is throughout your existence, not just "while you're the student." One goal of education is to create life-long learners, and teachers practice this idea as well. This is why so many of us spend our own money to attend conferences and professional development-to ever increase our knowledge. The day I go into my classroom thinking I know everything, and have nothing to learn from my students, is the day I leave the profession.

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drmonica | (Level 2) Associate Educator

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Students will pay attention to the items that are specifically scored when they are writing an essay. The John Collins program advises that essay assignments should have no more than 3 focused correction areas (FCAs) per assignment until students have mastered those areas. You could make listing correct dates one of the FCAs, and naming political eras correctly another FCA. Students who mess up an FCA have a certain number of points off their final score. Once students have gotten the hang of it, then it remains a point-grabber, but it can be taken off the FCA list for future assignments and you can select new FCAs.

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Ashley Kannan | Middle School Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

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This is a challenging topic.  It is of considerable difficulty to determine different ways to make learning effective for students.  One thing that can be done is to help students in the prewriting process.  Sometimes, when writing responses in history, students benefit from organizing their ideas in detail even before they begin to write them out in essay form.  This would allow them to properly integrate dates, political ideas, and intellectual history into their writings.  A way this can be done is with the standard outlining of ideas and points that need to be made.  Another way this can be done is through the use of graphic organizing devices which allow students to visualize the writing process in steps or chunks.  Finally, if these methods don't work, might I suggest peer editing student work.  It is quite useful is students write their papers and then assign students to peer edit one another's work.  Perhaps, the peer editor could be responsible for "fact checking" for dates in the response.  These methods reaffirm to students that writing is a collaborative process that takes many forms before final product.

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daddio | eNotes Newbie

Posted on

How do I instruct students to develop their essay writing capacities in history?

How do I instruct students to enhance their efforts at historical essay writing, including their recall of political conditions as well as explaining the cultural impact of their history on their experience?

Topic aside, I'm a little concerned that the teacher has to ask how to teach! Is it because the teacher was not taught well in college or was it that the teacher was not a good student? You can only teach what you've learned. The time for asking questions is while you're the student, not the teacher. One of my children had an English teacher who sent home an assignment during an illness absence. It read, "Please have Gary study the following list. We are having been working on sentence structure." We are having been!!! Where in this world does the English language work like that? I don't mean to hurt any feelings, but why aren't our teachers prepared?

 

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epollock | (Level 3) Valedictorian

Posted on

Students have to be aware of what is expected of them when they write essays to ensure adequate feedback. If you were to hand out grading rubrics and reinforced grading requirements, you should have more and more students following the procedures.

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