In a time of high-stakes testing, many schools are searching for instructional methods that will allow students to meet academic writing demands and prepare them for college and career success beyond grade 12.

Expository writing is a life skill that students need to develop if they are to be college and career ready. We developed EmPOWER for exactly that purpose.

The EmPOWER method teaches the multi-faceted process of writing explicitly within six steps that build on one another:

dissect the assignment to find out what I have to do
make a
plan how to approach the task and choose strategies
represent and organize the relationships between ideas
structure ideas and express them in writing
assess work to determine what needs to change
decide how to make changes

Using EmPOWER, students answer a series of questions and “talk themselves through” each stage of the writing process.

An EmPOWER-structured classroom dialogue prompts students to make conscious choices about their writing and remind them to use specific strategies to manage its many components. With EmPOWER guiding classroom writing instruction, students learn that they must do and say certain things every time they sit to write.

They can use the same approach and same set of strategies in every grade and in every subject area.  

Over time, students internalize the EmPOWER steps and strategies. They learn to independently able to identify their assignment demands, set thoughtful goals, use effective strategies to plan and organize their thinking and ideas, develop well-structured text based on those plans, and assess and refine their writing at each point in the writing process.

With EmPOWER, students are able to self-regulate their own writing process.

EmPOWER is neither a “program” nor a “curriculum.” Teachers use EmPOWER to teach their own curriculum and to meet their own unique writing instruction goals. It empowers teachers to take their students where they want them to go as writers, critical thinkers, and life-long learners.

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