Analogy: 1 writing process, many looks

I was trying to explain why students must learn only one writing process to write nonfiction ranging from how-to articles to arguments.  The teachers understood when I used an analogy to sewing a dress.

Once Susi Sewer can make a short-sleeved dress from a pattern, she knows the process well enough to make a long-sleeved dress with contrasting bodice and skirt from that same pattern. The appearance of the product changes; the process does not.

While that analogy worked for teachers,  the analogy to sewing a dress would not work for their middle school students. Middle schoolers need an analogy to something that’s part of their experience.

A better analogy for youngsters is to the process of getting dressed.  Middle schoolers get dressed the same way whether they put on their soccer uniforms or put on their Halloween costumes, but they end up looking very different.

By analogy, depending on the materials used, the products of nonfiction writing can each be built with the same process yet look very different.

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