Expository essay help

In an effort to become more effective supporters, students can leam to identify these moves in their own collaborative sessions, both to track the nature or their own verbal behavior and to help hem make decisions about possible changes in their plans and text. Several ways exist to categorize expository essay help the content and linguistic functic n of these verbal moves. Typically, expository essay help the linguistic functions of engaged supporters include prompting and sometimes challenging writers, while the moves of involved supporters generally include contributing information, directing, and challenging writers. Prompts are impoi - at, but often overlooked, supporter moves that consist prima- rily of neutral comments, encouraging comments, and clarifying questions that urge wn. Not only do prompts help, but specific kinds of prompts help more, as Matsuhashi and Gordon (1985) reported in a study with college students. They are a good beginning for inexperienced collaborators, but mey arc also integral for very skillful engaged and involved supporters Contributing information. Students contribute information for social as well as cognitive reasons. Some of the excerpts from the collaborative planning sessions presented earlier in this essay provide examples of contributing informa- tion. Without an exchange of infor- mation, whether summaries or provocative opinions, a collaborative effort is seriously hampered.

A highly productive supporter move involves asking critical questions, sug- gestingaltematives, and arguing opposing views. Although the eliciting comments they identified generally dealt with content, the comments also considered process, form, context, and reference to previous comments. Forexample, Putnam (1986) argues that substan- tive conflict about the issues and ideas under consid- eration can be highly productive. Sbaran (1980) suggests that one aitical dis- tinction of group investigation is the problem-solving nature of the collaboration, which includes "critical interpretation of information" (p. A pair of exploratory studies (Burnett, 1988a, 1988b) investigated differences between working with supporters who offered neutral prompts versus sup- porters who challenged writers and contributed to their plans. Clarifying supporters were ir structed to ask only neutral questions that encourage. Although writers responded to both supporters, they talked more with problem-solving supporters, espe- cially about purpose and design and asked more ques- licns about all rhetorical elements of their plan. Another supporter behav- ior involves directing the writer to modify plans and or text by adding, changing, or deleting. Gere and Abbott (1985) report that directive comments, focused par- ticularly on process, are the second largest category of supporter behavior. In a related study, Gere and Stevens (1985) report dear instances of students who are directive, sometimes politely and productively, but sometimes aggressively, even to the point of insult. However, other research indicates that directing the writer is not a wide-spread student behavior in collaborative groups. In collaborative planning, supporters occasion- ally are directive. Scaffolding is something that teachers often think of in terms ofbehavior they use with their students, but effectivestudentcollaboratorsalsousescaffoldingwith each other. Scaffolding sequences are constructed by consolidating the basic verbal moves of prompting, contributing, challenging, and directing.

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Scaffolding was described by Bruner (1978) as a strategy in which capable expository essay help peers helped their classmatesextend their zone of proximal development. A supporter — a classmate, teacher, parent — may be more knowledgeable or ex- perienced with the specific task and, thus, provides scaffolding so that the student can understand the process and successfvilly complete the ta x. Or, a supporter may be a peer who is trained to remind the writer to consider and nx:onsider rhetorical elements that are not typically considered by writers at that particular level of development or experience. Although scaffolding is present in naturally occurring conversation, in classrooms it is typically planned and usually the result of specific training. Naturally occurring scaffolding might take the form of a mother helping her young child move from saying, "Cookie!

Working with a skillful supporter during collaborative planning can provide a writer with the scaffolding necessary to plan and draft more skillfully than she could have done independently. The three collaborative pedagogical approaches discussed below — reciprocal teaching, apprenticeship learning, and collaborative planning— are intentionally, explicitly, and systematically built on scaffolding. One form of scaffolding is reciprocal teaching (so called because the teacher and student take turns playing roles of the supporter who provides the scaffolding). It is a cooperative learning technique whose goal is to help students understand and recall text content through scaffvolding. Even very young students are able to be successful supporters when the scaffolding role has been suff. The apprenticeship method is "aimed prima- rily expository essay help at teaching the processes that experts use to handle complex tasks" (p, 457). Procedural facilitation provides student writers with planning cues that model, coach, scaffold, and fade, in order to help them evaluate, diagnose, and revise their writing. Collins and his colleagues identify six teaching ways to use the ap- prenticeship method in the classroom: modeling, coaching, scaffolding, articulation, reflection, and ex- ploration. A third form of scaf- folding can be seen in collaborative planning, the form of collaboration that is illustrated in all the examples in this essay. As the examples of engaged and involved supporters show, in this loosely structured planning process, a writer explainr and elaborates a plan to one or more supporters. As the examples in this essay clearly show, the scaffolding in collaborative planning is both social and instructional.

A writer works with a sup- porter who provides encouragement and as well as prompts, contributions, and challenges that help the writer explore and link rhetorical elements such as purpose and key point(s), audience, and organization rather than concentrating on content.

Typically, the students switch roles, so that each student gets the opportunity to be a supporter, and each receives the benefits of having help in developing a plan.

The aim of collaborative planning is to build a richer network of goals and possibilities, identifyingand sol ving problems that can arise in planning. Effective supporters — those who are engaged and involved and have a repertoire of verbal moves and scaffolding sequences — can help writers manage both the task and the rhetorical elements of writing.

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