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Write Ahead Scope and Sequence

In Teaching the Universe of Discourse, James Moffett advised teachers to progress from personal forms of writing to more reflective and analytical academic forms. Write Ahead follows this organizational plan, beginning with personal writing, progressing through academic forms, and arriving at research papers. By following this suggested sequence, you help students build their skills and confidence. You can also download a PDF version of this document along with a yearlong timetable.

Overview of the Sequence


Forms in Write Ahead

Personal Writing


Learning Logs

Emails and Blog Posts

Narrative Writing

Personal Narratives

Phase Autobiographies

Biographical Essays

Response to Narrative Prompts

Explanatory Writing

Explanatory Essays

Process Essays

Definition Essays

Comparison-Contrast Essays

Cause-Effect Essays

Response to Explanatory Prompts

Persuasive (Argument) Writing

Argument Essays

Problem-Solution Essays


Public-Service Announcement

Response to Persuasive Prompts

Writing About Literature

Literary Analyses

Fiction Reviews

Nonfiction Reviews

Response to Literature Prompts

Research Writing


Research Reports

Creative Writing



Writing Across the Curriculum

Writing in Science

Writing in Social Studies

Writing in Math

Writing in the Workplace

  • Minutes
  • Business Emails
  • Twitter for Business
  • Business Letters

Scope and Sequence

The chart below presents a possible sequence of assignments, progressing from personal to academic and cross-curricular forms.