Current research by Malpique and Veiga Simao (2019) shows that using mnemonics is an effective strategy for increasing writing quality, the development and organization of ideas, and the language clarity of students’ persuasive writing. The use of mnemonics is commonly used in classrooms. However, from an intervention perspective often students are not provided with sufficient practice developing each of the components represented by the mnemonic before being expected to write a complete essay.

One strategy to assist students with dysgraphia or having difficulty expressing themselves in writing is to break the various components of writing into individual elements, model the element (including providing a sample) and then provide multiple opportunities for students to practice just that one element.

For example, students are explicitly taught how to construct a topic sentence and thenmight spend a week just practicing writing topic sentences which are used to introduce each body paragraph. They might spend another week practicing writing examples to support the arguments developed in each of the topic sentences. Once all the elements have been taught and practiced, then they can all be combined into a whole.

An important component of this strategy, is to provide multiple opportunities for student to recall the associated mnemonic and the information ‘attached’ to each letter. This can be completed orally at the beginning and end of each lesson.

For more ideas: Writing Persuasively

Malpique, A.A. and Veiga Simão, A.M. (2019) ‘Does It Work?’ Adapting Evidence-Based Practices to Teach Argumentative Writing. Journal of Writing Research, 10 (3). pp. 527-567

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