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Writing in the Social Studies


Some information and assistance in teaching students how to write in the social studies.

Much of this comes from Advanced Placement Social Studies training, available from the College Board



Writing in the Social Studies Classroom from the Colonial Williamsburg Foundation gives teachers many ideas on how to incorporate writing into their classroom. 

Seven Steps of Essay Writing outlines how to write a convincing essay answer to a question.

Transition and Signal Words for Essays offer ideas on how to compare and contrast, sequence, cause and effect, provide emphasis or conclude information in a writing analysis. 

APPARTS from the College Board is a way to analyze and understand primary sources. 

Categorization Strategies offer a way for students to sort information into strands of social studies.  This is from the College Board's AP Vertical Team Guide for Social Studies. 

Social Studies Writing Strategies is from the Region XIII Service Center in Austin, TX.  There are twelve ways to assist student writing on this sheet. 

AP also uses the G-SPRITE Analysis of Primary Sources.  Explanations and a guide are included. 







Video clips on writing in the social studies classroom (note:  these videos are not produced by DPI):

Quality Writing in Social Studies: The Introduction

Quality Writing in Social Studies:  The Body Paragraphs


Digital Texts & the Common Core Standards from DigitalIs - outlines some of the ELA Anchor Standards and offers grade specific descriptions of alignment to digital writing.  They also have another page with more information on Digital Writing and the Common Core

More writing ideas from the Michigan Department of Education. 
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