When I started my first job as a professional newspaper reporter (This job also served as an internship during my junior year in college — I just didn’t leave for about 6 years.), I quickly realized that all my experience, and all my years of journalism education had not been enough to help me write stories about drug busts, fatal car accidents and tornadoes. All the theoretical work I’d done, and all of the nifty little scholastic and collegiate stories I had done, did not prepare me for real world writing.
At that point, I had to find a solution quickly. After all, I had a deadline to meet, and it was only a few hours away.
One of my colleagues, who also served as a mentor, had the solution. She introduced me to the newspaper’s “morgue.” This was a room filled with filing cabinets in which we kept old — dead — stories arranged by reporter. Whenever I wasn’t’ sure how to write a story, all I had to do was check the morgue for similar stories. If I needed to write a story about a local drug bust, for example, I’d find another story on a similar incident, study its structure, and mentally create a formula in which to plugin the information I’d gathered.
Once I’d gained more experience, and had internalized the formula for that particular type of story, I felt free to branch out as the situation — and my training — warranted.
I do the same thing when I want to write a type of letter, brochure, or report that I’ve never written before.
This is what writing looks like in the real world.
Research by “Write Like This” author Kelly Gallagher indicates that if we want students to grow as writers, we need to provide them with good writing to read, study, and emulate. My personal experience backs this up, as does the old adage “all writing is rewriting,” oft quoted by everyone from LA screenwriters to New York Times bestselling authors.
Of course, if you’re a new teacher like me, there is one problem with providing mentor texts to my students: I have a dearth of middle school level writing sitting around in my file cabinets.
Fortunately, the Internet is full of sources, so I scoured the bowels of Google to find examples. I know how busy you are, so I’m sharing.
Expository writing examples for middle school
Below are several sources of expository writing samples for middle school students.
Finally, here is an article in the New York Times that will help you teach your students real-world expository writing skills.
Descriptive writing examples for middle school
Narrative writing examples for middle school
Argumentative/persuasive writing examples for middle school
Reflective writing examples for middle school
If you know of any other online writing example sources, please feel free to share them in the comments below.
I am a secondary English Language Arts teacher, a University of Oklahoma graduate student, and a NBPTS candidate. I am constantly seeking ways to amplify my students’ voices and choices.
Filed Under: PedagogyTagged With: writing examples, writing samples
Reflection in Global Health Essay Contest
What?An opportunity to submit an essay about your reflections in global health education and practice. This is the fifth annual CUGH Reflection Essay Contest that is co-sponsored by CUGH, Child Family Health International, University of Pittsburg Center for Global Health and Loyola University Chicago Health Sciences Division.
Who? Trainees from undergraduate, graduate and post-graduate levels and GH faculty/practitioners are eligible to submit an essay to the contest. We strongly encourage essay submission by trainees and global health practitioners/educators from low-middle income countries.
When? Submissions are due by midnight EST on November 20, 2017 (extended from Nov. 12)。 Decisions on winners and runner-ups will be announced on
December 20, 2017. A select group of winners will be invited to read their essays at the 2018 CUGH Annual Conference in New York, NY.
Where?Submissions should be emailed to email@example.com. Winners will be invited to attend and read their essays at the CUGH 2018 Annual Conference in New York, NY. However, attending the conference is not required to participate in the Essay Contest. Additional essays will be invited to submit for publication in the publication “Reflection and Global Health: An Anthology.”
How? Email essay submission with the structure and information in the instructions below to firstname.lastname@example.org. To learn more about how to write a reflective essay, additional resources can be found here.
Reflection is a powerful tool in global health education and practice. All current undergraduate, graduate and postgraduate trainees as well as GH practitioners are invited to submit essays to reflect upon the meaning and lessons learned from global health experiences. These may be in a research, educational, clinical, or service capacity. The impacts of these experiences on professional development and personal growth are revealed in new partnerships, insights into cross-cultural or ethical issues and ideas for change.
Click here for an example of writing prompts.
Click here to see essays previously selected for the Reflection in Global Health Anthology.
Requirements for Essays
- The essay must be written while the applicant fits into one of the three contest categories described below, must be the work of a single author, and must represent original work. Essays must not have been previously published in print or electronic format.
- Entries must be in English, at least 11 point font, doubled-spaced, and must not exceed 1,000 words.
- Essay should be written in Microsoft or OpenOffice document.
- Do not put your name or any other identifying information on the document. Mention of any other individuals in the document should conform to anonymity standards to ensure privacy.
- Include the title of your essay on all pages of your word document submission
- Only ONE submission per person.
- Essays not meeting all requirements will be disqualified from the contest.
Submissions will be judged in three separate categories:
- trainees (post secondary to post graduate levels,
- practitioner/faculty, and
- trainees for whom English is not the primary language.
Each essay is reviewed by two judges and scored on four criteria— originality/theme, composition, critical reflection, and impact. A third judge is asked to review the essay if there is a significant difference in the scores by the two judges. Authors will be anonymous to the judges. The finalists will be selected by members of CUGH's Essay and Education Committees. Essay finalists will be notified by January 15, 2018.
Monetary prizes of $500 and a waiver of the CUGH 2018 conference registration fee will be awarded to the three winners. A number of honorable mention essays will be selected for a special reading and recognition session at the conference.
How to submit
Send an email (including the below information) with your essay as an attachment to email@example.com
Please include the following information in the body of your email:
- First Name then Last Name
- Title of Essay
- Phone Number
- Email Address (reachable even after graduation)
- School/Sponsoring Institution/Training Program where enrolled or affiliated
- Degree Program (if applicable)
- Indicate category of submission (IMPORTANT!)
a. Trainees (undergraduate, graduate, post-graduate levels). Anticipated year of graduation
b. Practitioner/faculty. Please indicate years in practice and area of expertise
c. Trainees from low-middle income countries where English is not the official language
More information: Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com
This contest is co-sponsored by Consortium for Universities in Global Health, Child Family Health International, Loyola University Chicago Health Sciences Division, and the University of Pittsburgh's Center for Global Health.