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Classroom Poster: Phrases to Outlaw in Students' Writing
Ask any teacher who has ever spent every single minute of a beautiful weekend grading student essays and he or she will tell you this: In the garden that is student writing, certain “weeds” pop up again and again, and yes, again. Every year, teachers work hard to eradicate these should-be-outlawed phrases, yet still they persist. So we decided to make a list of the worst offenders. We asked middle- and high-school teachers: “What are the phrases in student writing that make you cringe, wail, and gnash your teeth?” From hundreds of responses, we narrowed it down to a carefully chosen list of Outlawed Words and Phrases.

Download it now, and put to use with your students. Here are three great ways: 

  • Editing Guide: Print or photocopy individual 8 1/2” x 11” copies for your students to place in their writing notebooks or binders. Have students refer to it as they edit their own essays or in peer editing. 
  • “Outlawed Phrases” Bulletin Board: Print the poster and place it in the center of a bulletin board. As you and your students come across more phrases to “outlaw,” write them on strips of paper and add them to your bulletin board display. 
  • Flip It!: Share the poster with your students and challenge them to create their own list of 11 rules for powerful essays.
Download the PDF now!
11 Essay Phrases to Outlaw
Download the PDF now!
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