A framework for literacy: A teacher‒researcher partnership considers the “C-S-C paragraph” and literacy outcomes

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Purpose ‒ To describe the role of teaching “the paragraph” in furthering literacy goals. The study considers one concept, the Claim-Support-Conclusion Paragraph (CSC) as a curricular and pedagogic intervention supporting writing and academic success for the marginalized students in two classrooms. Design/methodology/approach ‒ While this study corresponds to a gap in the literature of writing instruction (and paragraphing), it takes as its model the development of comprehensive collaborations where researcherscholars embed themselves in the real practices of school classrooms. A fully-fledged partnership between researcher, practitioners, is characteristic of “practice embedded educational research,” or PEER (Snow, 2015), with analysis of data following qualitative and case study methodology. Findings ‒ Practice-embedded research in this partnership consistently revealed several important themes, including the effective use of the CSC paragraph functions as a critical common denominator across rich curricular choices. Extensive use of writing practice drives increased literacy fluency for struggling students, and writing practice can be highly integrated with reading practice. Effective writing instruction likely includes analytic and interpretive purposes, as well as personal, aesthetic writing, and teaching good paragraphing is intertwined with all of these genres in a community that values writing routines. Practical implications ‒ Greater academic success for the marginalized students in their classroom necessitates the use of a variety of scaffolds, and writing instruction can include the CSC paragraph as a means to develop academic literacies, including argumentation. Collaborative and innovative work with curriculum within a PEER model may have affordances for developing practitioner and researcher knowledge about writing instruction.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)221-240
Number of pages20
JournalLiteracy Research, Practice and Evaluation
StatePublished - Jan 1 2016


  • Adolescent literacy
  • Paragraphing
  • Practice-embedded educational research (PEER)
  • Writing
  • Writing instruction


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