By reading and analysing good models, learners gain a clearer understanding of what they are expected to write.
Good models of a specific text form can be used to clarify the features and structure of the text forms that learners need to be able to write in their course work or in work situations. In this activity, learners evaluate models of well-written texts (of a standard appropriate to the NQF level they are working towards) against the learning progressions, in order to identify the features of good writing.
The teaching points
- The learners critically analyse the structural and language features of texts.
- The learners are able to discuss connections between this exercise and their own writing.
- Examples of the kind of text that learners are expected to write in your course or in the workplace, copied onto an overhead transparency (OHT).
- Overhead projector.
- Copies of the ‘Writing analysis template’ ( Appendix B5 (PDF, 61kB)).
The guided teaching and learning process
1. Put a copy of a complete text (or a summary of the text, if it is a long piece) on an OHT so the learners can see how it is structured and what sort of language is used.
2. Give each learner a copy of the ‘Writing analysis template’. Explain the steps of each learning progression the learners on the course need to aim for (for example, the 3rd step in the Spelling progression, the 2nd step in the Revising and Editing progression) and explain that the questions can be used to identify where a piece of writing fits on each progression.
3. Using the questions as a guide, discuss the text and identify which steps of each progression are represented.
4. Identify the overall features that made this writing successful. These features could be used as a checklist for the learners’ own writing.
5. Have the learners work in groups with you, then in pairs, to evaluate further examples of the same type of text. They can make brief notes about how the text matches the progressions.
6. Ask the learners to discuss these texts and their notes on them, first in pairs and then with the whole group, identifying the key features of similar texts.
- Take a photocopy of an appropriate text and cut it into separate parts or paragraphs. Ask the learners to sequence the scrambled paragraphs to form a coherent text. They can then talk about what enabled them to complete this task.
- With the permission of the writers, use examples of the learners’ writing for discussions as outlined above. Together with the learners, discuss how samples of their own writing compare and how changes can be made to improve their writing.