Five-Paragraph Essay Is No Longer A Viable Writing Standard

in Education (E)

[] Charlottesville, Virginia - Efforts to improve student writing have not led to tangible results. Niles Technology believes that writing products and curricula have failed to capture students' interest and have not promoted the importance of writing in college and career success. Essay WorkStation 2.1 is the answer to teach students both critical thinking and writing skills. Built specifically for the iPad and iPhone, Essay WorkStation 2.1 is the most comprehensive writing platform for college and high school students.

Niles Technology's writing apps directly focus on the inadequacy of the five-paragraph essay. The standard five-paragraph essay is now too basic a format to properly address the expanded writing requirements expected by colleges, universities and many employers. Essay WorkStation 2.1 takes a unique approach in helping students write critically-structured essays that go beyond the five-paragraph format. Using a proprietary, step-by-step writing process, Niles Technology's instructional content focuses on teaching the thinking process behind essay writing, which we found is the major weakness in students' writing skills. Most students are attempting to write before they know what they want to write - a guaranteed recipe for frustration and unclear writing.

"Addressing the issues surrounding writing is not an easy task, and we did not approach it lightly," explains Michael A. Niles, president of Niles Technology Group. "I knew the product had to be different, very comprehensive and do something no other product does. After studying student difficulties with writing and testing the content heavily with students, it was obvious Niles Technology's "think first, write second" approach is the right way to go. It turns out that grammar, outlining and formatting are not the major writing problems. It is the more simple question that stumps students - "What do I write?" It is the answering of this question and making students comfortable with what they think that make me proud of our mobile apps."

For Niles Technology, building student confidence is another goal of the apps. Students need to understand that their ideas are important. However, an unintended consequence of limiting writing assignments to the same rigid format is to limit expression. Additionally, students must be taught that there is more than one essay type and that each essay type has a specific purpose and certain kinds of acceptable arguments. Once these are learned for each essay type, students flourish in their ability to write; and, surprisingly enough, they naturally write more than five paragraphs. Essay WorkStation 2.1 effectively teaches students to develop their ideas; to write write with confidence; and, to defend their arguments.

"The best compliment we received about Essay WorkStation 2.1 was from a student who said 'This is the first time I ever really taught about what I was writing'," continues Mr. Niles. "For Niles Technology, that comment represents the holy grail of our existence. If the apps get students to simply stop and think critically before they write, we have done our job well. But, Niles Technology would go one step further - we would limit the use of the five-paragraph essay. We only included it in the essay catalog because there was almost no other way to get schools to try the product, i.e., teachers need to see something they recognize. Hopefully, after use, schools will expand the essay types they teach because colleges and employers expect more, much more, than the basic five-paragraph essay. Essay WorkStation 2.1 is a good place to start to write better, more involved essays."

Not all the news is negative because schools and teachers are discovering the efficacy of Niles Technology apps. Each month the volume purchase of the apps increase, which indicates that the use of mobile apps in schools is becoming more commonplace. Parents have also caught on because Essay Workstation is the No. 1 gifted app in the Niles inventory. For the lower grades, Middle School Writing has become a solid No. 2 bestseller, with both parents and schools purchasing the app. The Niles app catalog can be seen in the App Store by simply entering "Niles" in the iTunes search.

The incorporation of mobile learning into today's classroom is moving into high gear, and Niles Technology Group is dedicated to providing top-of-the-line educational apps that fit into students' mobile lifestyles. Contact Michael Niles at Niles Technology Group for more information about essay writing apps.

Niles Technology Group was founded in 2007 to develop software for emerging technologies and is developing a series of mobile computing applications dedicated to teaching superior writing and logical thinking skills. With its experience in the technology and content required to develop full-featured products for students, Niles Technology Group is a leading iPhone app publisher, and the Achievers Writing Center and Essay Writing Wizard apps have sold successfully worldwide. The key to Niles Technology Group's success is specificity. Each app is specific to the writing task at hand. Michael A. Niles, the founder, was formerly, for eight years, the President and CEO of The Right Education, Inc. (TRE), a web-based educational technology company that developed The Learning Accelerator. He looks forward to continuing to bring top-line education products to the mobile computing marketplace. Copyright (C) 2007-2011 Niles Technology Group. All Rights Reserved. Apple, the Apple logo, iPhone, iPod and iPad are registered trademarks of Apple Inc. in the U.S. and/or other countries.


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