Date of publication: 2017-08-22 20:04
I guess we will have to agree to diasgree about the 5-paragraph essay format for CPS students. However, I can see where teachers who only have one or two decades of experience may not have developed the skill set necessary to see the value in or to deal effectively with a variety of formats. As a starting point, the F-PF works as well for my students as any other format. It's what they do later that makes the difference.
It's bad writing. It's always been bad writing. With the Common Core Standards designed to shift the way we teach students to think, read, and write, this outdated writing tradition must end. If you're teaching it--stop it. If your son, daughter, niece, or nephew (or a person you care about) is learning it--prepare to engage with the teacher to end it.
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Aristotle's form works only for persuasive essays--which need to be part of our educational system more often. We just need to make sure that we are presenting students with persuasive prompts that have more than one reasonable response.
Here they are again, although you have blown them off several times now so I don't really know why I am bothering (except maybe that your obvious uncomfortableness with being challenged is entertaining- I know a lot of teachers who have been in the saddle too long who have this disease of being defensive and dismissive of challenges that they are unprepared for.)
If teachers and students move away from the rudimentary, unengaging, and useless five-paragraph format, students will be able to think for themselves and understand that writing can really challenge people's views. Students will create persuasive essays that incorporate information in un-identical ways to everyone else. Furthermore, rhetorical limits won't be obstacles they'll become guidelines for success.
In law school, I learned the infamous IRAC format (issue, rule, application of the rule, and conclusion). I personally prefer the variation of IRAC known as CREAC (conclusion, rule, explanation of the rule application of the rule, and conclusion again).
Aristotle rightfully promoted five parts to effective writing and speaking. Eventually, because of low expectations, because of poor literacy training, because of convenience or some combination, these five parts became five paragraphs. And writing became boring and predictable.
I have no problem with the five-paragraph essay, as long as students are exposed to the idea that this format is only the beginning of good writing it is functional but mediocre. If one wants to improve his writing he must add/subtract whatever is necessary to accomplish the writer's goal (persuade, expound, etc.). Liberace was once asked how he had become such an outstanding pianist. His reply was that he learned to play "by the rules" and once he had mastered the basics, added embellishments that represented him and his personality.
Conclusion: Your conclusion will sum up your entire paper and should include a re-vision of you topic sentence. It might help to start this paragraph with a simple phrase that lets the reader know you’ve come to the end, such as: “In conclusion,” or “In summation,”
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From my perspective, a student can start from any format with which he feels comfortable. My rules, in additional to this basic format, are simple - that one should: create a "hook" with the first or second sentence that reels the reader into the essay defend or give personal explanations of every statement made and end the essay with a short, *memorable* sentence that more or less sums up the main idea of the essay. Also, when appropriate, one should give opposing viewpoints and explain why they are incorrect.
6) The five paragraph essay is a real life technique. See evidence above. And even if it is not, we teach plenty of methods that are not strictly used in the “real world”. When was the last time you used a Haiku in “real life?” Or a Concrete Poem? But these are great things to teach and learn.