At the start of every well developed essay is a plan–the “road map of the essay”. A writer must know what the main topic is, what the main ideas are, and what supporting details can be used. If a student neglects to take the time to brainstorm and map his or her essay, the result is often a very unorganized, unclear essay. Unfortunately, many student struggle with the brainstorming and outlining process and as a result may skip this step altogether. If your student struggles in this area (much like I did), offers a great tool for helping your students learn to create an essay map. This interactive tool guides students through the process of creating a map of the essay’s topic, introduction, main ideas, supporting details, and the conclusion. Your student can either complete the map online and print out the finished copy, or print blank copies to use at any time! Also be sure to check out ReadWriteThink’s and maps!
Many of the students I teach find it difficult to write and structure an essay; actually even I do. Essay Map is a brilliant tool which works as an interactive graphic organiser that walks you through the process of writing an essay. You fill in the boxes as you go and then you can save it, print it or even email it when you’re finished.
The Thesis Statement and the Essay Map
This online activity assists students in the process of writing essays by using a flowchart-type outline to organize thoughts and ideas. The Essay Map can be reviewed online or printed as a reference when writing the essay. Requires Adobe Flash player plugin (available for free) installed. Publisher: ReadWriteThink.
Many thesis sentences will benefit from the addition of an essay map, a brief statement in the introductory paragraph introducing the major points to be discussed in the essay. Let's suppose you have been assigned the task of praising or criticizing some aspect of your campus. You decide that your thesis will be "The campus bookstore is the worst place in town to buy textbooks. Although your thesis does take a stand ("worst place"), you reader will not know why the bookstore is so poor or what points you will cover in your argument. With an essay map added, the reader will have a brief but specific idea where the essay is going and how it will be developed:Once you have finalised the Essay Map, you are ready to write your essays. You would have more clarity about what example to use in what essay based on the skill-sets that essay demands.Now, all the examples that you have must showcase one or more of the above skill-sets. This is where the “essay map” comes into play to put things into perspective.If you have a go at using Essay Map please leave a comment letting us know how you used it and what the impact on learning was in your classroom.