Mnemonics in Writing
Mnemonics for the writing process are methods that help students better organize, elaborate, and revise their ideas, improving the overall quality of their writing. Usually, teachers introduce various types of mnemonics for the writing process depending on the nature of a particular task. For example, a teacher may introduce PEEL so that students can fine-tune the structure of their paragraphs, or EXPAND when students have to develop their drafts. Usually, mnemonics are introduced within writing conferences or through mini-lessons. Students also use mnemonics when revising or editing papers. Mnemonics are effective because such approaches help to break down complex writing tasks so that students can follow simple steps. According to research and based on the experience from College Writers team, students write and organize their ideas better when they spend more time planning the writing process.
EXPAND to Elaborate
EXPAND stands for EXplore/explain an idea, Provide supporting examples, Add evidence or a story, Notice opposite arguments and refute them, Develop supporting voices by paraphrasing or quoting well-known experts.
STAR to Revise
Substitute overused terms using more precise phrases, Take out irrelevant or repetitive fragments, Add descriptions, details, or other information, and Rearrange your ideas to improve the logical structure.
COPS to Edit
COPS stands for Capitalization, Overall Appearance, Punctuation, and Spelling. Make sure to capitalize proper nouns, check the format of your paper, including the font size and margins, correct your punctuation and spelling errors.
PEEL to Develop Ideas
This principle will help you improve disorganized or underdeveloped paragraphs. Start your paragraph by stating your Point, support it with Evidence or examples, Explain how this evidence supports your thesis, and Link this paragraph to the main point of your paper.
IDEA for a Good Paragraph Structure
State your main Idea, Define details, add Examples or evidence, and Analyze it. This rule will help you move from more general to more specific things, starting with the ideas, and then supporting them with evidence.
WIRMI to Clarify Ideas
WIRMI stands for “What I Really Mean Is…” Clarify your main idea after you write a draft. Read your draft to someone and ask them whether or not your ideas are communicated clearly.
Display Anchor Charts
Anchor charts will help students memorize and recall mnemonics. If you’re a teacher, you can prepare such charts for your students, or they can create such charts in groups. For example, you may assign every mnemonic to a certain group.