Building Stronger Paragraphs

Below we offer examples of materials that draw students’ attention to the language features of their writing, aiming to help them, for example, develop greater clarity, authority and persuasiveness in the tasks they are set. Much of this work derives from our work with A and AS level students (aged 16-18) in our locality. We looked at samples of their writing and talked with their teachers before deciding what to focus on. We’ve also developed similar materials to embed within undergraduate modules. Please get in touch if you’d like to explore this.

Our assumptions about developing these teaching resources.

Wherever possible, they should:

  •            Be specific to the students’ discipline
  •            Be specific to the course/module and task the students are working on
  •            Use real student texts rather than concocted model answers
  •            Avoid using very weak pieces of student writing
  •            Show different ways of successfully tackling a task
  •            Aim to develop critical awareness of the effects of different choices
  •            Include opportunities to practice.    

We don’t recommend ‘off-the-shelf’ use of the resources given here, but hope they may be adapted by subject teachers as ways of strengthening, not just writing but students’ engagement with thinking and content. 

Coherence and cohesion - an example from A level Sociology

Editing for repetition and concision - an example from general A level materials

Showing analysis and evaluation - an example from undergraduate Politics

Using modifiers and tentative language - an example from A level Health and Social Care

Writing convincingly - an example from undergraduate Cultural Studies

Documents that you can download from this page: