The five-paragraph essay is highly controversial, and yet it has also been a useful format for composition. In this essay we explain why, despite its limits, students need to go along with the format to make what use and get what advantage of it. We then demonstrate that valuing the philosophical, historical, cultural, and educational backgrounds of our students can help navigate away from the restrictive nature of the format and lead to equitable learning for all students. Finally, we introduce a few curriculum designs and instructional practices to expand the epistemological and pedagogical frontiers of the format. In short, we conduct a culturally responsive discussion of issues students with non-Western backgrounds--Asian American students in particular--may encounter when writing the five-paragraph essay. By sharing student learning-focused approaches, we aim to improve Asian American students’ learning experiences.
He, Y., & Gaiser, C. M. (2023). How Can a Culturally Responsive Discussion of the Five-Paragraph Essay Help Asian American Students Write Well?. Inquiry: The Journal of the Virginia Community Colleges, 26 (1). Retrieved from https://commons.vccs.edu/inquiry/vol26/iss1/6