How do you teach effective writing? You model it, of course!
After teaching students the basic form of an effective literary paragraph, I have found that the act of writing often still remains mysterious to them, like a code they are quite unable to crack though they have the cypher lying in front of them. If, however, you demonstrate those tools by showing them examples of effective writing, using relevant and real-world texts, they can use the examples as models from which to hone their craft, like a painter imitating the masters who came before him. The resulting improvements in writing are truly staggering when you witness how much faster they pick up what it is your are teaching them to achieve.
This four-page handout is a good step in that direction as it shows them a wonderfully written literary paragraph on a passage you can have them read in under a minute, but which there is much to discuss, analyze, and write.
This pdf handout contains the following:
(i) A one-page literary paragraph, with a brief excerpt from Budge Wilson's "The Metaphor." While I often use this activity in conjunction with reading the full story, it is by no means necessary. The excerpt provided is a four-sentence extended metaphor from "The Metaphor," and works very nicely on its own.
Students read the extended metaphor and then are asked, "Using three pieces of evidence from the text, how is the mother portrayed in the excerpt from Budge Wilson's 'The Metaphor'?" Depending upon their skill level, you can set students to brainstorm, discuss in groups, and/or write their own paragraphs before or after showing them this exemplar. There is value in either sequence.
I usually have student annotate the text, looking for the (P)oints, the accompanying (E)vidence, and the (E)xplanations. I remind students that while P.E.E. is the most common order to find these elements, a skilled writer will mix the order around to achieve the best flow. The literary paragraph provided offers such an example.
(ii) A one-page listing of what the literary paragraph does well, and how it is achieved. This gives students not only a good model from which to work, but also the reasons why it is an effective literary paragraph. I have students discuss and analyze the example literary paragraph prior to "giving" them the answers.
(iii) The same paragraph with broken down / labelled into its respective parts. This either serves as an Answer Key, or you can give it to students after discussing the elements of a good literary paragraph.
Overall, these handouts serve as a useful tool for students to keep in their binders and refer back to once they have learned the format of the Literary Paragraph.
This product works very well with my Literary Paragraph Guidelines Handout and Quiz: https://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/An-Easy-Guide-How-to-Write-a-Literary-Analysis-Paragraph-1116544