When I started my first job as a professional newspaper reporter (This job also served as an internship during my junior year in college — I just didn’t leave for about 6 years.), I quickly realized that all my experience, and all my years of journalism education had not been enough to help me write stories about drug busts, fatal car accidents and tornadoes. All the theoretical work I’d done, and all of the nifty little scholastic and collegiate stories I had done, did not prepare me for real world writing.
At that point, I had to find a solution quickly. After all, I had a deadline to meet, and it was only a few hours away.
One of my colleagues, who also served as a mentor, had the solution. She introduced me to the newspaper’s “morgue.” This was a room filled with filing cabinets in which we kept old — dead — stories arranged by reporter. Whenever I wasn’t’ sure how to write a story, all I had to do was check the morgue for similar stories. If I needed to write a story about a local drug bust, for example, I’d find another story on a similar incident, study its structure, and mentally create a formula in which to plugin the information I’d gathered.
Once I’d gained more experience, and had internalized the formula for that particular type of story, I felt free to branch out as the situation — and my training — warranted.
I do the same thing when I want to write a type of letter, brochure, or report that I’ve never written before.
This is what writing looks like in the real world.
Research by “Write Like This” author Kelly Gallagher indicates that if we want students to grow as writers, we need to provide them with good writing to read, study, and emulate. My personal experience backs this up, as does the old adage “all writing is rewriting,” oft quoted by everyone from LA screenwriters to New York Times bestselling authors.
Of course, if you’re a new teacher like me, there is one problem with providing mentor texts to my students: I have a dearth of middle school level writing sitting around in my file cabinets.
Fortunately, the Internet is full of sources, so I scoured the bowels of Google to find examples. I know how busy you are, so I’m sharing.
Expository writing examples for middle school
Below are several sources of expository writing samples for middle school students.
Finally, here is an article in the New York Times that will help you teach your students real-world expository writing skills.
Descriptive writing examples for middle school
Narrative writing examples for middle school
Argumentative/persuasive writing examples for middle school
Reflective writing examples for middle school
If you know of any other online writing example sources, please feel free to share them in the comments below.
I am a secondary English Language Arts teacher, a University of Oklahoma graduate student, and a NBPTS candidate. I am constantly seeking ways to amplify my students’ voices and choices.
Filed Under: PedagogyTagged With: writing examples, writing samples
20 Argumentative Essay Topics For Middle School
An argumentative essay is designed to explain to your reader information about one side of an argument. It is a lot like a persuasive essay because the idea is to explain one side of an issue but the idea is to present the facts without your opinion involved. A persuasive essay would display personal opinions. So for an argumentative essay simply state which side of the issue you believe in and then give your reasoning as to why you believe it.
There are some great topics to consider when choosing a topic for your argumentative essay. You would choose a topic that interests you. Once you have the topic, answer the question and then support your answer with at least three reasons why you believe it. For example, if you take the first option on the list, you can write that sports should not be coed and then tell your reader three reasons why it shouldn’t be coed.
- Should sports be coed?
- Should schools sell fast food?
- Should students wear school uniforms?
- Should there be harsher punishments for bullying?
- Is it fair to ban preteenagers and teenagers from the mall without adult supervision?
- Should there be less homework?
- When are you old enough to stay home alone?
- Should middle school students still have a bed time?
- Does summer school benefit the student?
- How would you change the school lunch menu?
- Should school sports be mandatory?
- Do kids watch too much television?
- Should kids have chores?
- Should you have to wear your seat belt on the bus?
- Should students who play sports still have to take Gym class?
- Should children be more concerned with what they eat so that they don’t have health problems when they get older?
- Should you get a larger allowance?
- Should school be year round with more breaks to improve education?
- Do violent games and television shows make kids violent?
- Should your school have a school newspaper?
Any one of these topics would work well. They are designed to establish a question pertaining to a conflicted view and then challenge yourself to prove your stance. Therefore, you would tell your side of the dispute and then for each body paragraph talk about a different reason why you believe it.