While my students drafted their opinion essays last week, I skimmed through the body paragraphs
they'd written to evaluate what we would need to Revise. In doing so, I looked for 2 areas that consistently make it into my lesson planning: Main Idea and Details. Right away, I noticed the following problems in their body paragraphs:
- Unclear Main Idea in paragraph.
- No Main Idea in paragraph.
- Main Idea doesn't fit with the Details in the paragraph.
- Details don't support the Main Idea in the paragraph.
- Not enough Details to support Main Idea.
With these problems in mind, today we tackled Revising for one Main Idea (M.I.) per paragraph with enough Details (Ds.) to support this idea. As writers, our responsibility is to make our ideas as clear as possible to our readers. For many young writers, though, the Revising phase is often murky, which requires some clarity and practice with a technique former students and I have had a lot of success with.