This program is very systematic in its teaching. It was like having a step-by-step to do list. Where all other programs failed because they were too conceptual, this program worked because of the easy step-by-step process. My son is in high school now and his writing is acceptable. He’s not a natural writer, so I don’t think it will ever be exceptional, but it is good now. Even though Pattern Based Writing is intended for younger children, it is great for a remedial program at the middle school level. I just moved faster at the earliest stages. What I found was that the simple explanation of things makes this program wonderful for a child who is struggling with writing. You get the “Oh, that’s all you wanted” light bulb going off.
Silence filled the classroom when the grimacing woman wearing layers of torn sweatshirts and mismatched work boots kicked an empty desk by the door. She fished out a wrinkled paper from her jean’s front pocket and waved it high in the air. “The court sent me,” she said, looking directly into the eyes of a startled young freshman. “And I want to know, who’s gonna make me stay?” Rolling the document into a ball, she quickly darted to the back of the room and dropped it onto the desk of the biggest guy in the room. She asked him, “Is it you?”
You present a persuasive argument for the abandonment of the 5-paragraph essay and suggest a new format for presenting an argument... However, you did not provide much information on what is expected to go in between your introduction and conclusion? You suggested this format opens the essay to compare/contrast, cause/effect, analysis, etc... but how do you suggest students structure an essay with these approaches in practice? Any piece of writing needs some structure and main ideas that are then supported with various pieces of evidence (whether you are writing a historical thesis or a persuasive essay)... If you are abandoning a "main idea followed by supporting evidence" format, what do you propose should take its place? Or perhaps my understanding of the 5-paragraph essay you are speaking of is incorrect?