I thoroughly enjoyed Ray Salazar’s blog post featured in today’s NCTE In-Box, “If you teach or write 5-paragraph essays … stop it!” on the Chicago Now blog. Ray is a public school teacher in the great city of Chicago, and he knows his stuff!
It’s bad writing. It’s always been bad writing.
I couldn’t agree more.
Author: Nigel Caplan
Nigel Caplan, Ph.D., is an associate professor at the University of Delaware English Language Institution, as well as a textbook author, consultant, and speaker. Nigel holds a PhD from the University of Delaware, a master's in TESOL from the University of Pennsylvania, and a bachelor's degree from Cambridge University. He is currently director of Project DELITE, a federal grant providing ESL certification to Delaware teachers. He also brews beer.
View all posts by Nigel Caplan
5 thoughts on “Another anti-5-paragraph essay screed”
Thank you. I teach high school and college writing courses and I keep telling everyone that the five-paragraph essay is damaging and not real life writing. Even though I have an MFA in Writing, many simply find my argument hard to swallow. I would love to have more information (more like this blog post) that proves this belief and practice in the craft of teaching writing.
Thanks for your comment. I’m glad you found the post useful. I have written about this topic in a chapter and newsletter article (details here https://nigelteacher.wordpress.com/2010/03/18/beyond-the-five-paragraph-essay-now-in-print/). They both have references.
Another great source is this article by Elizabeth Rorschach:
Good luck with your teaching.