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Model student writing
By reading student writing in your classroom, you can help students isolate and illustrate skills that they may not easily recognize in writing produced by (and intended for) professionals. We publish a range of model Baruch student writing.
The Lexington Review is organized into thematic areas. Click one of the headings below to read related student writing:
Resources for students
We’ve also developed writing guides for both direct student use and for faculty-moderated use in the classroom. Each resource entry uses student writing to define and illustrate a specific writing skill, then guides students through the steps of implementing that skill. These can also be used to help students learn to read with attention to form, rather than content.
Want to learn more about using model texts in your classroom? See the following guides, or contact us for help along the way.
Selecting student texts for classroom use
Here are two methods of selecting student texts and the accompanying skills you wish to teach.
Start with the student text:
- Identify the moves or skills that seem strongest. Don’t worry about finding an ideal example; instead, highlight strategies that you can clearly parse for students.
- Close read relevant passages. Where those strengths are most present, begin identifying the writer’s choices.
- The model writing doesn’t have to be perfect. In fact, even the stand-alone passage doesn’t have to execute the move perfectly—you can lead the class in identifying remaining opportunities for revision.
Start with the skill:
- Develop a list of potential moves you value. Articulating these first makes it easier to develop the resource in student-friendly language.
- Select the skills or moves most central to your discipline or genre. We’ve privileged close reading and source use, for example, since it’s a foundational move for much of what we see in the Writing Center. You may choose to prioritize skills like “Summarizing a source’s argument,” “reporting empirical evidence,” or “writing an abstract.”
- Keep in mind that moves take place on different scales. Smaller-scale skills, like signposting or transitions, are easier to annotate and faster to use in the classroom, but it the large-scale skills (like persuasion) may be where students most need support.
Creating a writing guide from a sample text
If you’d like to develop your own writing resource based on a student text, here’s a brief guide to get you started. While each of these steps may not appear in every student writing guide or in this particular order, we’ve found it’s often useful to include the following:
- Introduce and define a term (or set of terms) that will be used to discuss the skill at hand. This also helps build a common lexicon for talking about writing within a class.
- Introduce the author and their writing, and give background information about the larger piece as necessary. This might not be needed in a class working on a common assignment.
- Isolate and quote passages that demonstrate the skill. Try to select passages that can stand alone. This avoids relying on a series of ellipses to construct a legible passage.
- Close read or perform a “moves analysis” of the student text to explain the component steps of a given skill. Continually move between the specific and the general. By using the immediate examples to speak to larger patterns and habits of effective writers, you facilitate the reader’s learning to read for, and write with, models.
- Reveal process. Effective writing often obscures this, of course. Try to draw it out for the reader.
- Explain the benefit to a student writer—and of writers generally—of learning to execute this move. What does using this skill help them accomplish?
- Wherever possible, provide a template or instructions that uncover steps. Modeling is easier when it’s broken down into a linear process. You’re working to illuminate a skill or move, not the complexities of the entire writerly act.