Research has shown that frequent opportunities to write make students better writers. However, the students need feedback to improve. The problem is that there just aren’t enough hours in a day for teachers to provide consistent and meaningful feedback for a hundred or more student essays. A solution to this problem is the 100-word writing response.
- Once a week post a topic for students to write about. Mix up the genres, and offer a range of topics over the course of a marking period that cover argumentative or persuasive writing, expository writing, and narrative writing.
- Over a ten or fifteen week marking period require students to complete a minimum number of final drafts – this can be individualized to differentiate instruction.
- Require students to write 100 words on the topic.
- Provide feedback on the 100 word rough draft and return it to the student. This can usually be accomplished during the class, and gives the teacher a chance to conference with individual students as they work.
- Students will turn in final drafts by the end of the marking period.
Here are some sample writing prompts to get you started.
- Argumentative: Imagine the school has received a grant and can build a new theater or a new baseball field. Which should be built? Why?
- Expository: Describe the perfect summer day. Who are you with? What are you doing?
- Narrative: Tell the story of your first day of school. What was the most exciting thing that happened? Be sure to create rich, round characters for your readers.