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Below are sample essays I have received from your classmates. For each essay, I'll post at least a couple examples of papers with my comments so that you get a sense of what I am looking for. I intend my comments to be constructive, and they may sound harsh or sometimes appear sarcastic, but I read these drafts trying to be a typical reader, giving a sentence-by-sentence run-down of what's going through my head. In essence I am having a mental dialog with these papers, and my comments range from notes about the content and structure to grammar and usage.
My fifth graders write their first "official" research paper as part of the Science Fair process at our school. I have created frames for the five paragraph essay to help the children organize all the facts and data they find while researching. Children who do not need the frame are encouraged to write the paper independently, but it is available for anyone who needs it. I think the research paper frame is an invaluable tool for bridging the way to independent research writing in the upper grades. Stacy @ http://new-in-room-