Plan Your Writing Response Using a Graphic Organizer

Refer to the school's graphic organizers (both with text and blank) that show the organizational expectations for each grade level writing assignment.

1. Print out the writing assignment graphic organizer.
The graphic organizer you select will reflect the expectations of the schoolwide writing assignment. It should include a place for you to list an interesting opener or 'hook' for your introduction, a thesis comparison statement about the two (or more) subjects, a sentence about the body paragraph main idea categories, body paragraph main idea category sentences and point-to-point detail comparison sentences, and your conclusion paragraph sentences.

2. Identify the two subjects in the writing task to be compared or contrasted, and write your thesis comparison statement.

3. Create an opening sentence to interest the reader in a comparison about these two subjects (hook)

4. Brainstorm to identify at least 3 main idea categories to compare and contrast the two subjects.

5. Brainstorm 2-3 details about each main idea category.

6. Use a Venn Diagram for brainstorming.
A Venn Diagram is a great way to brainstorm your essay main idea categories and detail comparisons about the two subjects to answer the question words "what", "why", or "how".
If the question word in the prompt is "how", you will be brainstorming "ways" for your three main idea categories.
If the question word in the prompt is "what", you will be brainstorming "things" for your three main idea categories.
If the question word in the prompt is "why", you will be brainstorming "reasons" for your three main idea categories.
Students can go to this link to access an online interactive Venn Diagram, http://www.readwritethink.org/files/resources/interactives/venn/index.html

7. Brainstorm elaboration sentences about each detail comparison sentence (for older students).

8. Plan your conclusion paragraph sentences.
Each conclusion paragraph needs to have at least three sentences:
A sentence that restates the thesis comparison statement about the two subjects.
A sentence that restates the three main idea categories being compared.
A concluding 'wrap it up' sentence about the two subject being compared, often incorporating a reference back to the 'hook'.