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Writing Models/Mentor Texts Are Provided, As Well As Opportunities To Create A Variety Of Text Types Across Subject Areas.

Using Mentor Texts and Guiding Questions 

  • Writers have access to varied mentor texts to guide their understanding and use of specific writing strategies.
  • Writers help identify and analyze mentor texts to support their goals and purposes as writers.

Using a mentor text to shape writing involves more than just a quick read of a good model.  When students analyze mentor texts to enhance their writing, they look at specific things the author did to create a specific effect on the reader.  For example, if students are writing a narrative, they may closely read a mentor text to notice how (and when) the author starts the story, as well as how the author treats the passage of time, builds suspense, and uses dialogue. 

Guiding questions can help students pay close attention to writer’s craft as readers, and then use these observations to shape their own writing decisions. 

Readers as Writers: Analyzing Mentor Texts to Enhance our Writing 

[Note to teachers:  The following Guiding Questions PDF is to guide your students’ attention as readers and writers, as they work with mentor texts. This example is designed for analyzing a mentor text in a narrative unit, and the specific focus areas and questions can be revised to fit the teaching goals you have for your student writers.]

When we read as writers, we pay attention to specific choices an author makes and how these choices affect us as a reader.  This process helps us begin to notice specific writing techniques we can borrow and adapt in our own writing, especially when we want to create a similar effect in our readers.  Use the questions below to help you focus on specific elements of the mentor text you are studying and make plans on what you want to use in your own writing.

Guiding Questions Document