I’m dusting off my Mentor Text Monday concept for a new post this week!
Back in March I finished writing, revising, and editing my dissertation. Throughout the writing process I was constantly looking at other dissertations as mentor texts. I had never written a dissertation before (and in fact, I had never read one before starting my program!), and I needed to know what the end product could look like. The last two chapters were especially daunting to me, and I frequently returned to my mentor texts for models of how to organize, structure, and share my analysis.
Now that the stress from the doctoral process is finally starting to leave me, I am looking ahead to my next writing project – writing a book. I would like to take my research and turn it into a practitioner-friendly book. Thinking that is easy, but figuring out where and how to start is overwhelming. While talking to one of my smartest friends and colleagues, I was reminded of the value of mentor texts. My heroic friend advised me to look at the professional books that are similar to the content or structure I want to write, and to use those as my mentor texts.
Thanks to that advice, I have a rough outline of my ideas for the book. This outline is giving me the confidence to start drafting to gather my thoughts. Once I start putting my own thoughts down, ideas flow faster and easier for me. This process stresses the importance of mentor texts, especially when a writer is tackling a new genre or text type.
As we continue to guide our young writers to learn the three main text types of our new state standards (Opinion/ Argument, Informative, and Narrative), I hope to remind other teachers, coaches, and leaders of the value of mentor texts.
Thoughts to ponder:
- What mentor texts are supporting your writing or your students writing this year?
- What professional books have most impacted your professional growth?