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The Essaypop Global Writing Templates Explained

The Essaypop Global Writing Templates Explained

The Essaypop Global Writing Templates Explained

essaypop

essaypop

Jan 17, 2024

Jan 17, 2024

10 min read

10 min read

These templates provide students with the organizational writing structures they need to be successful in school and beyond

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Why Use Templates?

Essaypop is a template-based writing system that is designed for students in elementary, middle school, high school, and beyond. The system allows kids to build and compose well-crafted academic paragraphs, essays, and narratives using a structured, and repeatable methodology in which they compose their writing in color-coded frames. Research shows that when students learn discrete writing structures, they retain them and can then build on them as their skills develop and their writing becomes more sophisticated. We believe that writing proficiency like many other types of learning happens gradually and incrementally.

With this in mind, it makes sense to start young and emerging writers with simple writing templates that are easy to master, then move them into more sophisticated structures when they are ready to make the transition. This is why our early elementary-level templates consist of just a few writing frames, while our secondary-level structures feature multiple frames. Students move through the templates, adding elements as they go and soon learn to modify or “flex” these structures to suit the kind of writing they are working on.

Once students have mastered several templates, it’s not unusual to see them jump back and forth between simple and complex structures depending on the task at hand, and it’s because they have these structures internalized; they know them. It’s like having a writer’s toolbox, but more than that, it’s knowing what each tool in the box actually does.

What follows are descriptions of the most basic templates we offer laid out from simple to complex. We call these our global templates. Each template is presented with accompanying assessment criteria and a set of rubrics. While these templates cover most types of writing that students will encounter, any template can be customized by schools, districts, and teachers, and unique templates can be built from scratch. Students also can manipulate any template in real-time by adding, arranging, and rearranging writing frames within the template as they write.

Read this article to learn more about customizing and creating your own structures. This article shows you how to create prompt-specific paragraph structures.

Regardless of the template being used, every structure is accompanied by robust scaffolding tools such as easily accessible models, explanations, and sentence stems that help students choose the correct way to begin a section of the paragraph they are working on. Also, while composing within any template, students can connect in the interactive Hive environment where they receive feedback from their teachers and peers.

Let’s take a look at the templates --

The Single-Frame, Quickwrite Template

We begin with the most basic of templates, the free form or quickwrite template. This structure consists of a single writing frame where students compose within a single frame. Unlike essaypop's other templates, students don’t concern themselves with paragraph elements like thesis or claim, evidence, and analysis. They’re simply writing on a single screen or sheet.

As with all essaypop templates, students can build upon this single frame, adding essay elements as needed. Some teachers build paragraphs or essays from scratch, beginning with this basic structure. It’s a great way to learn the fundamentals of paragraphing.

Whether they stay within the single frame or add others, students, of course, can interact and comment on each other's writing within the Hive environment, and they always have access to essaypop’s many scaffolding tools.

For assessment purposes, users will generally select one or more of our holistic rubrics to score the writing.

Here are the criteria and accompanying holistic rubrics for the quickwrite template.

The Simple Paragraph

The simple paragraph template provides students with the most fundamental components of an academic paragraph; these components are the thesis or claim, evidence, and analysis. This is a prevalent writing structure in elementary and middle school programs nationwide. It is also popularly known as CER, an acronym for claim, evidence, and reasoning. This template is essential as it provides the necessary building blocks for more complex paragraphs and essays. In our program, we always base our more complex template structures on this important triad of paragraph components.

Students are never locked into a template; they can always add components to this simple structure. They can add more evidence, analysis, counter-argument, rebuttal, etc.., and these writing frames can be arranged and rearranged by the writer at will.

Here are the criteria and accompanying rubrics for the simple paragraph template.

The Basic Paragraph Template

With the basic paragraph structure, we introduce a new component to the simple paragraph, the closer. While this is not a dramatic departure from the simple paragraph, it does add a layer of depth to the writing as students now must consider how they want to wrap up what they're writing about. Will they add something reflective at the end? Will they include a brief call to action? The closer allows students to elaborate, conclude their thoughts, and, yes, add to their word count. Being the incrementalists that we are, we've developed these templates so that students can gradually work their way toward writing more complex paragraphs and essays.

Here are the criteria and accompanying rubrics for the basic paragraph template.

Conversion to an MLA-formatted Document

It should be noted that as students compose in the writing frames, everything they write is converted into an MLA-formatted document that can be turned into a PDF, Google Doc, or any other format the teacher prefers.

The Short Response

With the basic paragraph, we added a closer to the elemental triad that makes up the simple paragraph. With the short response, we keep the closer and add another element, the hook.

The hook’s purpose is to engage the reader at the outset by providing important background information, setting the tone, and otherwise beginning a natural conversation with the reader before introducing the thesis or claim. The hook allows the writer to organically bring their voice into the writing.

Once the hook is added to the other elements, the paragraph, both from a content and a word-count point of view, begins to take the personality of a short essay. This is why we call this structure the short response. Again, we're attempting to build complexity gradually by adding one element at a time to the fundamental building blocks laid out in the simple and basic paragraph structures. And as you’ll see in the next, template, the power paragraph, the levels of complexity continue to develop incrementally. And as always, students can add more writing frames to any template provided.

For a more detailed tour of the short response, take a look at this article.

Here are the criteria and accompanying rubrics for the short response template.

The Power Paragraph

The jump from the short response to the power paragraph is an extremely important transition for emerging writers. With the power paragraph, students are asked to supply two elements of evidence and two corresponding pieces of analysis or reasoning. The jump in complexity is significant as it forces the writer to think and communicate more deeply about the topic at hand. They are required to dig into the topic and elaborate.

The power paragraph marks the bridge between paragraphing and proper essay writing. It is not yet the full-blown, multiple-paragraph essay that students will learn and continue to master in high school, but it prepares them to take this leap. Students who use this structure will often begin to add paragraph breaks naturally or do so with the guidance of their teacher. The power paragraph is a winning template for the types of writing late elementary and middle school students will be required to do on end-of-year state writing tests.

Here are the criteria and accompanying rubrics for the short response and power paragraph template.

The Multiple-Paragraph Essay Template

Multiple-paragraph compositions are fundamentally different than the paragraph and short essay structures that we've described thus far; these essays are structured more sequentially, with a dedicated introductory paragraph, a specified number of body paragraphs, and a conclusion. Because multiple-paragraph essays are constructed so differently, they require a unique template layout.

As you can see in the images below, paragraphs are laid out horizontally along the header so that students can focus on the writing at hand, moving to the left or the right to address other parts of the essay. Think of this longer paper as being composed of a series of smaller templates. In the spirit of incrementalism, we recommend that students master the previously described paragraph and short-response structures before tackling multiple-paragraph essays as all of the skills required to write the longer paper are learned in these shorter activities. Let’s take a look at the parts of the multiple-paragraph essay --

The Introduction

The paper’s introduction begins with an engaging hook and transitions into the thesis statement or claim. Next, a series of sub-theses announcing upcoming body paragraphs are written, followed by a closing sentence or two. This is a classic introductory paragraph structure and should be quite familiar to any teacher who has taught such formats as the five-paragraph essay structure.

The Body Paragraphs

Each body paragraph begins with a template akin to the basic paragraph structure described earlier; students compose a topic sentence followed by some evidence or concrete detail. This is followed by analysis, explanation, or reasoning and concludes with a closing statement of some kind.

The number of body paragraphs should match the number of sub-theses that were included in the introduction.

Like all of our templates, students begin with this basic body paragraph structure and then build it out as they determine more evidence, analysis, counterargument, etc., are needed. The student in this example added more evidence, analysis, and a transitional bridge.

Here is a link to an article that goes into more detail about constructing multiple-paragraph essays.

The Conclusion

The conclusion is also templated and strategically composed. The writer begins by bringing the essay full circle with a component called the echo, which is a revisit of the hook from the introduction. Students then revisit their original thesis statement and sub-theses and conclude the essay with a reflective outro.

Here are the criteria and accompanying rubric for the multiple-paragraph essay.

The Basic Narrative/Storytelling Structure

Narrative and story structures are clearly different than essay structures and need to be approached differently. We still use a template structure for this type of writing, but we break the components down differently. For the basic storytelling structure, we include the fundamental elements of plot, exposition, rising action, climax, and resolution.

When students are asked to write a personal narrative or fictional story, they begin with these four basic components. As always, students can add additional frames as needed; they can arrange and rearrange the writing frames for different purposes, and they always maintain total flexibility within the system.

We have another fictional, storytelling template for longer pieces that includes such elements as characterization, dialogue, setting, common narrative action, etc

Poetry Writing Template

Our poetry and lyric writing template breaks down poetry into a basic stanza structure, and while many types of poetry are not necessarily stanza-based, this structure will suffice for many approaches to writing verse. Students begin with four color-coded stanza frames which they can add to and manipulate as needed.

We have found that when students can arrange and rearrange stanzas, they can experiment with several different poetic styles. The color-coded frames are useful when students give and receive feedback in the interactive Hive environment as they allow participants to easily zero in on particular stanzas and sections within a poem.

Because assessment criteria for poetry are so varied, we do not offer criteria or rubrics for poetry. Esaaypop users can, however, create their own customized rubrics within our system.

The Generic, All-Purpose Template

Sometimes writers just need a generic space to write that also happens to be sectioned off into color-coded frames, and that is where the all-purpose template comes in. While writers could certainly use the quickwrite template described earlier, the all-purpose template has the benefit of featuring four color-coded writing frames that can be arranged, rearranged, and added to as needed by the writer. It’s perfect for longer pieces of free-form writing and also allows peers and teachers in the Hive to zero in on the various colored elements of the writing. The all-purpose template is also a great structure to begin with when creating a customized template structure.

Like the poetry structure described earlier, we do not have criteria or rubrics set up for this template, but users can create customized assessment rubrics within our system.

Summary

While our global templates provide most of the writing structures students need to be successful with the types of writing they will encounter, the number and variety of structures out there in the world of writing are infinite. Here is a fun article from our blog that plays around with variations of the templates you learned about in this article. We encourage you and your students to modify our templates and build some of your own. It’s actually kind of fun. Remember this, all writing, whether simple or complex, fits within a structure. Writing is structure. Templates simply define this structure.