Critical Essay Writing Cover

Critical Essay Writing

Building skills and confidence with diverse essay types

As a crucial starting point, Critical Essay Writing breaks down the essay writing task into manageable skills and offers ample opportunities to practise and apply each one, including in online contexts. It then sets out a multitude of lessons in which students combine these skills in different ways to produce both literary essays and essays that are also important to success in other curriculum areas, such as persuasive, argument, and cause and effect essays.

Not stopping at lesson plans, this truly "resource-full" book includes material for mini workshops on key aspects of essay writing, as well as numerous exemplars and activity and assessment templates.

Ages: 12-16 | Pages: 56 | Code: 5860 | ISBN: 9781776550043

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Maria Gill

Maria Gill writes full time from a seaside village north of Auckland, New Zealand. She has had 20 children’s books published for the retail market and another 35 educational books for the international market. Maria specialises in children’s non-fiction books. Seven of her books have been shortlisted for children’s book awards (New Zealand Post Children’s Book Awards and LIANZA Awards) and eight have been Storylines Notable Books. Her book ‘Anzac Heroes’ won the New Zealand Book Awards for Children & Young Adult Non-fiction Award and the Margaret Mahy Book of the Year Award. ‘New Zealand Hall of Fame’ won the Children’s Choice in the non-fiction category. Previously she has been a primary school teacher and she also has a Graduate Diploma in Journalism Studies. Maria also reviews books on . For more information about Maria please go to


About this book4
Planning resources – curriculum links5
Unit 1: Components of essay writing6
Lesson plan 1.1: Analysing essay questions6
Lesson plan 1.2: Formal vs informal writing7
Lesson plan 1.3: Writing an introduction8
Lesson plan 1.4: Writing main and supporting ideas in a paragraph10
Lesson plan 1.5: Writing conclusions11
Lesson plan 1.6: Creating an essay outline12
Unit 2: Literary essays13
Lesson plan 2.1: Looking closely at language features13
Lesson plan 2.2: Writing a poem essay15
Lesson plan 2.3: Looking closely at short story features16
Lesson plan 2.4: Writing a short story essay17
Lesson plan 2.5: Looking closely at a film essay18
Lesson plan 2.6: Writing a film essay19
Lesson plan 2.7: Looking closely at a novel essay20
Lesson plan 2.8: Writing a novel essay21
Unit 3: Other types of essays22
Lesson plan 3.1: Looking closely at persuasive features22
Lesson plan 3.2: Writing a persuasive essay24
Lesson plan 3.3: Looking closely at argument essay features25
Lesson plan 3.4: Writing an argument essay26
Lesson plan 3.5: Looking closely at expository essay features28
Lesson plan 3.6: Writing a comparative essay29
Lesson plan 3.7: Writing a descriptive essay31
Lesson plan 3.8: Writing a cause and effect essay32
Lesson plan 3.9: Writing a process essay33
Mini workshops34
Mini workshop 1: Sentence structure34
Mini workshop 2: Paragraph structure35
Mini workshop 3: Livening up the language36
Mini workshop 4: Avoiding plagiarism37
Mini workshop 5: Transitions38
Essay outlines39
Poetry essay outline39
Short story essay outline40
Film essay outline41
Novel essay outline42
Persuasive essay outline44
Argument essay outline45
Templates for activities and assessment47
Template 1: Descriptors and descriptions47
Template 2: General essay outline48
Template 3: Cause and effect essay outline49
Template 4: Language features50
Template 5: Graphic organiser51
Template 6: Peer edit form52
Template 7: Student checklist for writing an essay53
Template 8: Teacher assessment spreadsheet54
Further resources55