Analytical Thinking and Writing In All Subject Areas Expository Text Structure: Problem-Solution Non-fiction Text Structures (how authors organize nonfiction texts) Students need to be taught text structures so that they can successfully read and write non-fiction. • Compare-Contrast • Cause-Effect • Goal-Action-Outcome (procedure/process, sequential/chronological order, order of importance) • Problem-Solution • Proposition-Support (persuasive, position) • Concept-Definition (descriptive) What does a problemsolution text look like? A problem-solution text informs readers about a complex, multistep problem and suggests actions that could be taken to remedy this problem. Brainstorm topics in your content area that present problems for which solutions can be created. Students’ awareness of text structures improves reading comprehension. Use “It Says/I Say” to help your students make inferences as they read. Tool for Problem-Solution Thinking and Writing Problem: causes Introduction Solution 1 Body Advantages/ Disadvantages Solution 2 Solution 3 Advantages/ Disadvantages Advantages/ Disadvantages Which solution do you propose? Summarize the advantages and call for consideration of the proposed solution. Conclusion Tree Map Order of Operations for Essay Writing Begin with your topic. Brainstorm on a Thinking Map, jot list, etc. Analyze and summarize information on the Thinking Map, etc. to determine your thesis statement. Use information on Thinking Map, etc. to determine supporting ideas and write topic sentence for each idea. Find supporting evidence to explain supporting ideas in detail in the body paragraphs. Write your hook (tells why we care, states thesis). Incorporate transitions to combine and explain your ideas. Write your conclusion (rewrite the thesis, revisit main points from body paragraphs and hook). Using the Writing Order of Operations in Science 1. Begin with a topic: Air pollution 2. Brainstorm on a Tree Map. Problem: air pollution caused by automobile exhaust leading to asthma, reduction in lung capacity, heart problems, cancer Solution 1 mass transportation Adv. Save time Reduce air poll. Solution 2 Solution 3 Bicycling Walking Adv Exercise Disadv. Reduce Fare hikes air Attracting riders Unreliable service pollution Disadv. Safety weather Adv Exercise Reduce air pollution Disadv. Safety Weather More time 3. Analyze the Tree Map to determine a thesis statement. Problem: . air pollution caused by automobile exhaust leading to asthma, reduction in lung capacity, heart problems, cancer Solution 1 mass transportation Adv. Disadv. Save time Fare hikes Reduce air poll. Attracting riders Unreliable service Solution 2 bicycling Adv Exercise Reduce pollution Disadv. Safety weather Solution 3 walking Adv Exercise Reduce air pollution Disadv. Safety Weather More time Summary of the problem and why it needs to be dealt with: Despite their disadvantages, mass transportation, bicycling, and walking instead of driving would reduce health problems associated with air pollution. 4. Create a thesis statement based on the analysis of the Tree Map. The problem + the solution = thesis statement THESIS: Walking, riding a bike, or taking public transportation instead of driving, will reduce air pollution. Remember: The thesis statement is the most important element of the essay! Now it’s your turn…… 1. Choose a topic from your group’s previously created list of topics which offer problems and solutions. 2. Create a Tree Map explaining the problem and possible solutions. 3. Analyze the Tree Map and summarize the problem and why it needs to be dealt with. 4. Create a thesis statement for a problemsolution essay. Tips for Writing a Problem-Solution Essay Introduction • Hook (How will this problem-solution essay help someone better understand what the problem is and why it needs to be solved AND why is the solution important to the big picture?) • Thesis statement (summarizes both the problem and the possible solution and should answer a question) • The introduction should give the reader enough background information to understand the problem. (Why is it a problem? What are the root causes? ) The Body • Writers need solid supporting ideas to develop an argument. • Each paragraph should be focused on a single idea that supports the thesis. • HOWEVER, write as many paragraphs as needed to support the thesis. The Body • After describing the problem in the introduction, the essay should move to a possible solution. • What are the alternatives? • What are the advantages/disadvantages to each alternative? • What is the solution? • How well is the solution working? OR How well will the solution work? Problem-Solution Transitions Use transition words to help the reader follow the flow of ideas. • • • • • • • • • the cause is results are corrected improved remedied issues possibilities analysis preferences • • • • • • • • situation obstacle choice outcome succeed/successful problem/problematic attempt/attempted explanation Conclusion • Restate the thesis statement using different wording and/or; • Revisit the main points from the body paragraphs and/or; • End on some memorable thought, such as a relevant quotation, interesting twist of logic, or some call to action that is related to the hook. Teachers of all subjects are responsible for: • Thesis statements • Organization • Transitional language • Content Remember! Content-area teachers are not responsible for GUM (grammar, usage, mechanics, and spelling). Back in the Classroom • Post the problem-solution transition words in your classroom. • Model “It Says/I Say” for your students and provide them with guided and independent practice in using the strategy when reading problem-solution texts. • Use the annotated problem-solution essays to help your students become analytical readers and writers. • Have your students write a problem-solution essay using the Writing Order of Operations on the essay planning page. • Model each part of the essay planning page and provide feedback during the drafting stage.