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ERIC Number: EJ940947
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2011-Sep
Pages: 14
Abstractor: ERIC
Reference Count: 58
ISSN: ISSN-0098-6291
What to Make of the Five-Paragraph Theme: History of the Genre and Implications
Tremmel, Michelle
Teaching English in the Two-Year College, v39 n1 p29-42 Sep 2011
In this article, the author traces the history of the five-paragraph theme and the views about it, along with arguing for its elimination in writing instruction in favor of problem-based, "rich-task" writing experiences for students. She intends to bring together various voices on theme writing across time along with some key bits of the history of current-traditional rhetoric (in which theme writing is embedded) so that already overburdened teachers of writing have, in one place, information that might help them make choices about how they prepare writers to meet the demands of 21st century communication. She sees this article as a conduit to historical research that, though not new, remains unknown to many practitioners, as well as a call for a serious shake-up in the way writing gets taught. She believes writing programs can serve student writers better if they commit themselves to a widespread abandonment of current-traditional methods and the five-paragraph theme, embracing instead approaches shaped by a vision of "renewal" and embodying the characteristics of "rich-tasks." (Contains 3 notes.)
National Council of Teachers of English. 1111 West Kenyon Road, Urbana, IL 61801-1096. Tel: 877-369-6283; Tel: 217-328-3870; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Evaluative
Education Level: Higher Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A