I work exclusively with at-risk students, this means they are usually working well below grade level. I created this “outline” to help students who are unfamiliar or uncomfortable with the writing process, however, works well as a starter or first draft for any writer. The “outline” walks the student through the essay paragraph by paragraph and sentence by sentence. The outline explain what to write with a prompt and provides an example sentence
B. What are you going have to work on or change to make the year better?
Example: In order to make this year better I need to make changes in attendance, attitude, and academics.
If complete properly, the student has a first draft that they can type up and start peer editing or a second draft. There are a grading rubric and formatting requirements that not only make the paper more formal but require many different settings be changed in order to familiarize the student with a word processor program.
This “outline” is for a 5 paragraph personal essay. The assignment asked students to reflect on and create a plan for success in the school setting this year. I currently use this assignment that start of the year to focus student and get them to commit to being successful. The paper can then be referred back to as problems arise. I find this much more useful than the “what I did during summer break essay”. I have been using it for the past five years with a good degree of success.