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Consider going through each step of the essay writing process (outline, introduction, body paragraphs and conclusion) in depth, with plenty of modeling and whole group/small group hands-on practice. Help students master these basics skills by providing plenty of practice.
The I do/we do/you do model gives students a chance to first see how each step is completed, and then practice with peers before moving on to work independently. When your ESL students are ready for independent essay writing, it's time to offer some interesting opinion topics to get their creative juices flowing.
For example, ask your students if the statement 'Everybody loves chocolate' is arguable or not.
This type of example illustrates the need to make statements without generalizations.
However, students are often prone to arguing in a way that weakens their argumentative essay.
In order to avoid this, it is important that you first reinforce logical thinking patterns.First things first; teach your ESL students how an essay should be structured.Start by introducing students to the traditional five-paragraph essay structure.This allows students to see the big picture while writing an essay.Display a graphic organizer or anchor chart for students to refer to when needed.This lesson lists some interesting topics for argumentative writing.Your advanced ESL students may be excited about writing an essay using their strong language ability.Now, imagine that you were expected to write that essay in another language you were just learning!You would have needed the process simplified quite a bit.Remember the first time you ever had to write an essay.Recall the steps you took for arguing your opinion.