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Graphic Organizers For Writing Courses

In writing courses we often equip our students with graphic organizers for the brainstorming step in the Writing Process. However, students receive more information than just the Writing Process. For example, my students tend to grasp the concept of the Writing Process with little problem but they struggle with understanding APA format. Any suggestions on the type of graphic organizer that would work for this topic? Or would structured notes be a better option for this topic? All suggestions are welcome!

I think the structured notes approach for this area would work best. When I have taught students formal writing (a graduate seminar on getting articles published) they did better with structured notes as they started to become proficient in APA format. The notes in a sense became a check list for them to follow so they would remember to do all of the steps and formatting.

Gary Meers, Ed.D.

In teaching dental hygiene we use a form of graphic organizing. I have assembled a set of instruments on a peg board with each instrument group as to their use. This lets the students see where they are working and what instruments they can use for that area in the mouth.

Like your approach to helping students to see how different content and objects, in this case instruments contribute to the successful completion of a procedure. I find many students lack study skills, even though they are high school graduates and should have had developed these skills during those years. By using graphic organizers they get a visual aid that will help them see the information they need to learn and how it applies to their career development.

I wish you continued teaching success! You are using a lot of creative approaches to support the learning of your students.

Gary Meers, Ed.D.

I find this interesting, as I have seen it used in grade school, but it is still effective in college. It really helps to break down information, and organize it so that relationships are easily seen.

Yes they are. I find that many college students do not have good study skills. They have a hard time pulling out key points or concepts. By using graphic organizers I can get them to see how the parts fit together to complete a whole concept. In addition, they can see flow of information as well as intersections of where information overlaps. All this is important in the learning process and graphic organizers helps them to see each segment.

Gary Meers, Ed.D.

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