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To write cohesively means doing many things at once-wrestling with ideas, balancing form and function, pushing words this way and that, attending to syntax and diction, and employing imagery and metaphor until a coherent message emerges. Though full of promise, student writing typically lacks cohesion. But does the fault lie in students or does the method of teaching writing lack the cohesion it expounds?
Carol Jago offers an approach that is the very example of the kind of cohesion she expects from her students' writing. Neither a lock-step lesson plan nor a simple recipe, it is an organized, coherent method that works by offering clear and complete guidelines for the most common types of writing: informational and persuasive writing, narrative writing, and writing about literature. Jago's method centers on her core beliefs:
- In order to learn to write, students must write.
- Authentic tasks and topics generate the most cohesive student writing.
- Students need both supportive and critical feedback.
- There is no cohesive writing without revision. Complete with worksheets, rubrics, and graphic organizers, plus student samples and stories that are both engaging and familiar, Jago's book provides the strategies for teaching writing that result in significant student growth.
Send a message to students that cohesive writing matters not only as preparation for high-stakes tests, but also as a tool for life. Teach them cohesively and cohesive writing will follow.
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