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
Choosing Good Persuasive Essay Topics For 8th Graders
To write persuasive papers it is important that the writer has the ability to think critically without which it would not be possible for him to take a strong stand on a controversial topic. Thus persuasive papers are written on certain issues or topics that trigger conflicting opinions whereby the writer of essay persuades or convinces the readers to agree upon a particular opinion as is supported by the author himself.
Thus for writing a persuasive essay, the writer not only should be confident upon the stand that he has taken but the essay must also be credited with reliable and relevant facts in order to back up the opinion. How to connect the facts with the logic supporting the opinion is a skill that a persuasive essay writer must possess.
List of Persuasive Essay Topics For 8th Graders
For the 8th graders choosing a good topic for persuasive papers can be critical. Choice of topic is important since such topics tend to get debatable and the writer requires to have strong reasoning ability. For 8th graders the topics must not go beyond the intellect level of their own age group and thus it is best to avoid too complex topics. The topics should be relating to the issues that concern the interests of the students so that they are able to think critically on it and then able to take stand.
A list of persuasive essay topics that are suitable for the 8th graders are,
- Should students be allowed to use cell phones in high schools and elementary schools?
- Should voting age be lowered to thirteen years?
- Do video games trigger violence in children?
- Does recycling help the environment?
- Should parents be held responsible for the wrongdoings of their child?
- Who is the strongest superhero?
- Is it a good thing to own pets?
- Do pets make great companions?
- Is reading a book more entertaining than watching a movie based on the same book?
- Is it right to keep animals in a zoo?
- Video games are harmful for kids’ health.
- Kids should read more books.
- Beauty contests are derogatory for girls’ self confidence.
- Country life is better than city life.
- Banning books is detrimental to free speech.
- Life was simpler 50 years back.
- Winter vacations should be longer.
- Schools should take serious measures against bullying.