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Background Information

The writing process is how we translate ideas into written text. Writing involves having something to say, someone to say it to, language to express it, and a knowledge of standard ways of getting language down on paper. Students need to be able to develop pieces of writing with teacher and peer support and feedback. They need to behave as writers and to see themselves as authors.

The writing process consists of five stages. These stages form an organizational structure that writers use to develop and express ideas in written form through observations, reflections, retelling, explaining, and describing. Each of the five stages of the writing process serves a distinct purpose and are implemented in a variety of ways by all writers. Though the stages of the writing process build upon each other, they are not lockstep/sequential stages. Instead, writers move within the stages based on their individual needs and purposes, creating a unique process for conveying meaning.

You will complete the following stages of the writing process when composing your Astronomy essay:

1. Prewriting

2. Drafting

3. Revising

4. Editing

5. Publishing
As students move to upper elementary and secondary, the emphasis of writing changes from learning to write to writing to learn. Because writing is thinking, the organization of students’ writing reflects both the structure of their thinking and the depth of their understanding. Students should be writing in all their classes, explaining what they know and how they know it. Thus, it’s essential for content-area teachers to give students meaningful analytical writing assignments.

Astronomy Essay

For this assignment you will write a short essay (minimum 3 paragraphs) about an Astronomy topic of your choosing using the writing process. Topics include Star formation, the Big Bang Theory, Orbits and Ellipses, The Sun, NASAs Journey to Mars, or any other topic in the textbook. The essay must contain an introductory paragraph, at least one body paragraph, and a conclusion paragraph. It should also contain at least one quotation from the textbook or other source. You will receive credit for each stage of the writing process that you complete.