Guided Drafts take students step by step through the process of drafting an essay, making the assignment well suited for distance learning.
Below are some best practices for using Guided Drafts effectively when you can't be with your students in person. You can also draw on these resources:
- Sample Unit Plans for Remote Guided Drafts (more information below)
- Video for Students: How to Make the Most of Guided Drafts
- Handout for Students: Tips for Using Guided Drafts at Home
To assign a Guided Draft, click here!
- Be strategic about the genre you assign. Argumentative, which is available to all users, is a great option for when you want students to use sources in their writing. For Premium users, Narrative or Persuasive work well away from the classroom because students can rely on their own ideas and personal experiences, rather than external sources. If you want students to research on their own try Expository/Informational. Or, if students have recently read novels or stories, they can write about these texts in a Literary Analysis essay. Choose from the full list of essay type options when you assign your Guided Draft, and use our genre-specific prompts to save time.
- Help students brainstorm ideas on their own with Quick Writes and our printable pre-writing resources. If you want to give students feedback on their ideas before they start drafting, you can set a Quick Write due date before the start date for the Guided Draft, and leave comments on the first assignment.
- Encourage students to take advantage of the Guided Drafts resources in your absence. We created this video for you to share with your students. It highlights the key lessons, tips, and examples available in the Guided Draft and walks students through the Guided Draft process from the start of the assignment to submission. You can also share this handout with tips for students using Guided Drafts at home.
- Help students manage their time at home by breaking up the assignment into smaller chunks. Here's one example of a schedule you could tell your students to follow:
Day 1: Pre-writing, including deciding on their thesis (1 hour)
Day 2: Body Paragraph 1 (45 minutes)
Day 3: Body Paragraphs 2-3 (1 hour)
Day 4: Intro & Conclusion (1 hour)
- Give students feedback, wherever they are. After students have submitted their drafts, you can leave comments and send their essays back for revision. The assignment will reappear on students' dashboards, but you may also want to notify students through your LMS or email that feedback is ready for them. For more information on viewing student work and leaving grades and comments, check out this article.
- [Optional] Monitor students' progress. While students are working remotely, you can see how far they've gotten by clicking the Results (graph) icon from your Assignments page. From here, you can click on any student's name to see what they've written so far. If you want to give students in-the-moment feedback, you'll need to reach out through your LMS or email to share your comments.
Sample Unit Plans for Remote Guided Drafts
To make this all a little easier for you, we've put these tips into practice and created two-week remote Guided Draft essay plans for 6 essay genres, with links to pre-made assignments. Feel free to use these exact plans, or use them as inspiration! PDFs for these plans are below:
- Sample Plans for All Genres
- Argumentative Essay Plan
- Expository/Informational Essay Plan
- Narrative Essay Plan
- Persuasive Essay Plan
- Literary Analysis Essay Plan
- Rhetorical Analysis Essay Plan
Do you have any feedback about these resources? Let us know at firstname.lastname@example.org.