Tired of reading page after page of uninspired research papers? Let’s face it – our kids hate writing research essays, causing us to be exhausted when reading their half-hearted efforts. A far better approach to teach the Common Core informative/explanatory writing skills our students need is to use a blog-style treatment as students practice their research skills on high-interest topics.
Begin by introducing the elements of a strong blog post and discussing the unique style of this type of writing with a 25-slide introductory lecture that includes a guided notesheet to help students stay focused on the elements that matter most.
Then, help students practice brainstorming by focusing on powerful headline writing. After students have chosen their topic and headline, share a model of a completed blog post with “The Ugly Truth About Gummy Bears,” a two-page blog-style paper that includes concrete examples of MLA 8th Edition submission and citation formatting.
Give students a copy of the assignment and, later, enjoy easy grading with the detailed, ready-to-use rubric.
Requiring students to digitally publish their final drafts is NOT part of this assignment, though some teachers might want to fold in that authentic audience if their classrooms have good technological access.
Materials in this download include:
• A visually dynamic introductory lecture (25 slides in Prezi, PDF, and Google Slides versions)
• A guided notesheet for students to use during the lecture and a completed key for the teacher (2-page PDF)
• A sample final draft of a completed blog post to share with students as a model of strong work (3-page PDF)
• A print-and-go assignment sheet to give students (1-page PDF)
• A detailed rubric to make grading easier (1-page PDF)
These writing materials were designed for students in grades 8 through 12. If more background on MLA is needed, be sure to lead into this project with these interactive materials to help students master the 8th Edition MLA formatting requirements. If students also need visual reminders and real-world examples of how to avoid plagiarism, be sure to play this plagiarism prevention game with them before or during their writing sessions.
Hope you and your students enjoy this fresh approach to research-based writing.
NOTE: This item is also included in my English 9-10 full-year curriculum. If you already own the full-year download, please do not purchase this item here individually. If you’d like to receive this item plus everything else needed to teach 180 days of English 9 or English 10 at a deeply discounted price, click here to learn more about the full-year curriculum download.
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Cover image credit: Pixabay, Public domain