Cathy Duffy Reviews home > Composition & Grammar > Writing Step by Step

Writing Step by Step: Developing Paragraphs by Asking Questions

Publisher: Builder Books
Author: Mary Lou Ward
Review last updated: 2009
Instant KeyPublishers InfoPricing

Many students struggle with organizing their writing. Roman numeral outlines seem to work with about half of all students. In contrast, Mary Lou Ward's approach using "visual maps" for organizing worked with all my writing students.

Writing Step by Step is a teacher's manual with these reproducible "maps" to help children (and parents) organize thoughts and put them easily into paragraph form. Models of different strategies are given, showing how to brainstorm, develop ideas, organize, and construct paragraphs.

The methods can be applied to many types of expository writing. The first part of the book is directed to lower grades. The second part of the book, directed toward older students, continues beyond basic paragraph writing to teach how to develop more difficult compositions including steps in a process, comparison and contrast, problem/cause, and cause/effect. Ideas from both sections can be used according to the needs of each child, regardless of age.

Writing Step by Step makes it so easy to write coherent paragraphs, then lengthier pieces. This is the best tool I know of that helps overcome the stumbling block of organization in teaching our children writing skills.



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  • Instant Key

    • Learning Styles: all
      Suitable for:  
      parent resource
      grades 3-12
      Need for parent/teacher instruction: 
      Prep time needed:
      minimal once you're familiar with the ideas
      Need for Teacher's Manual: 
      this book is your manual
      Religious perspective:
      secular but "Christian friendly"

    Publisher's Info

    • Builder Books

      PO Box 5789
      Lynnwood, WA 98046-5789

      (800) 260-5461 orders only
      (425) 778-4526
      (425) 771-4028 FAX