A#1 Professional Article

Kaitlyn Cox | Section A | 2.11.2016

Releasing Responsibility to Students Writing Persuasive Text

Main Ideas

  • Greater emphasis should be put on writing argument & exposition (persuasive works)
  • Teachers should write in front of and with students in shared writing activities before asking students to do it on their own
  • When teaching specific writing styles (in this case-persuasive), teachers should employ the IMSCI model. This model releases responsibility to students slowly, focusing on scaffolding, teacher modeling and collaborative writing. IMSCI stands for:
> I = Inquiry into the genre of writing

> M = Modeling for students

> S = Shared activities (safe space)

> C = Collaborating

> I = Independent writing


  • IMSCI teaches through inquiry of a specific writing style, modeling from the teacher of that writing style, and shared writing with peers
  • IMSCI model is good for students who are hesitant writers, because it scaffolds and provides them with teacher and peer guidance until the very end
  • IMSCI model is good for strong writers, because it forces them to focus more on the drafting and editing components of writing
  • When writing persuasively, brainstorming can take place in the form of a graphic organizer to organize reasons for student opinions before putting into an essay (see figure below)
  • The IMSCI model is more about the process and less about the product, but the product is inadvertently improved
  • The informal stance that the teacher takes in modeling throughout this learning method is proved to reduce student anxiety and stress

The below table was retrieved from page 474 of the article Gradually Releasing Responsibility to Students Writing Persuasive Text by Read, Landon-Hays & Martin-Rivas.

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"The intent of the IMSCI model--that after a highly scaffolded writing experience, students will be more ready and able to write independently in the same genre." (Read, Landon-Hays & Alicia Martin-Rivas, 2014, p. 473)

Discussion Questions

  1. Why do you feel it is important to teach our students to write (express their opinions) persuasively & argumentatively?
  2. Would you implement the IMSCI model of teaching writing genres in your classroom? Why or why not?
  3. What are some potential fallbacks of this teaching method?

My Opinion

I fully support the ideas presented in my article, and feel that the heavily scaffolded approach to teaching writing different genres is one that all teachers should exercise in their classrooms. One of the ways that students learn best is through modeling. I can remember my mom helping me write book reports when I was younger—she modeled for me what they should look like, and I picked up on the process of writing quickly. Modeling is used all the way throughout the IMSCI approach, along with shared writing and collaboration. By allowing students to delve into a writing style as a group, we are building a group confidence that will eventually transform into confidence in one’s own writing abilities. IMSCI is good for all types of learners. Struggling writers are provided with assistance, modeling and guidance while fluent writers are challenged to deepen their understanding of what they are writing, and forced to continuously revise. I agree that the opinion-based persuasive writing technique should be emphasized more in schools. By teaching our students to write persuasively, we are providing them with life skills that they can continue to develop (such as getting their opinion across in an appropriate manner). Developing opinions on a text require students to read deeper into the text; thus, both reading and writing skills are strengthened through persuasive writing.

Bibliography

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