Home / Blog / Complete Guideline On What is Race Writing Strategy & How to Teach It

No matter how many people you speak with, they all say the same thing: we struggle with writing. Putting their thoughts on paper is tough for them, whether it's making complete sentences or creating essays. One major problem is that students find it hard to use evidence to back up their arguments. But luckily, the RACE writing strategy might make a big difference.

What does race stand for in writing?

Race writing acronym for R means to restate the question, A means to answer all the questions of the section, C means to cite the evidence as support, and E means to explain how the evidence backs up your claim. The S in races stands for summarizing your response.
When students follow all of these steps in their responses, they can produce work that is well-rounded, thoughtful, and relevant to the question. Teaching them this technique is, therefore, a good idea, particularly if they struggle with writing lengthy reports. Here's more information about each section in case you're unsure:

What does RACES stand for in writing

Restate the question

The topic sentence for the student's response is a restatement of the question. It is not necessary for each letter of RACE/RACES to stand alone as a complete sentence. In the same sentence, the R and the A are frequently combined. Remember that writing is a personalized skill with multiple approaches.

Answer the question

Children should first respond to the original question in general terms before going into further detail. Usually, the first few sentences will provide context for the upcoming paragraphs by outlining the reasons behind their particular viewpoint.

Students must also ensure that they respond to every aspect of the question. Unluckily, they frequently provide incomplete responses to questions, which results in a deduction of points.

Cite the evidence

Students need to understand the meaning of "cite." You can associate the word "cite" with the idea of "sight," having the reader go back and see the solution with their own eyes. Making that connection may assist in recalling the meaning, particularly if "cite" is a new word for them.

Additionally, students can use concepts and words directly from the text at this point. Teachers should explicitly teach older students how to quote the text in quotation marks in a follow-up lesson. Younger learners don't need to quote the text in order to understand what it says.

Explain your answer

It's crucial to bring everything together with a statement that summarizes your response as the final step. If you're having difficulty coming up with something to write, try answering questions like "So what?" or "What does that prove?". In other words, you must explain the reason why the evidence backs up your claim. 

Summarize your response

Similar to a summary or closing statement in a paragraph, this serves as a reminder of the main idea. It brings the response to an end.

What is a race writing strategy?

This method is called RACE or RACES. It's like a step-by-step guide to write better short answers. When it comes to writing, having these guides is helpful because it can be hard.
With RACE strategy writing, students can make sure they include all the important parts in their answers. Over time, using the RACE writing strategy will become a natural part of their writing process. It is very crucial to teach effective strategies to students to make their writing tasks easier. 

The races strategy for writing works so well. It supports your students in doing what a skilled writer would always do without thinking about it. Students receive tools and assistance to help them grasp how to restate questions in full sentences. For certain students, the topic can be rather challenging.

After the question has been revised, they may also need to provide evidence for their answers. In the end, provide a thorough explanation of how they came to their conclusion. Students can write clearly and competently by using RACE's straightforward, easy to remember guidelines, which offer answers, arguments, solutions, and proof of their thought processes.

When can you use the race writing strategy?

The racer writing strategy is perfect for students of all age groups. It is also an excellent method for teaching homeschooled students critical writing skills that are needed for expository essay writing, informational texts, the ELA test, and any other situation where they must be able to write well-supported responses!

Let’s have a look at some scenarios where race strategy reading and writing helps:

Standardized Exams for ELA 

The Common Core emphasizes how crucial it is to back up your responses with textual evidence. More than ever, students are expected to write brief responses. Students respond in writing to open-ended questions based on stories, articles, or poems they read or hear, and they answer multiple-choice questions based on brief passages they have read.

Expository writing

This kind of writing shares real facts, not made-up stories. It's like the foundation for understanding the world. You see it a lot in guides on websites and encyclopedias that teach you how to do things or explain facts.

Informational writing

After that, there's something called informational writing. It's like writing a real and true story to teach the reader about a particular topic. This type of writing uses special methods to help the reader find the important stuff and understand what it's all about.

In the past ten years, a general consensus has been built that reading and writing abilities are related. As a result, rather than teaching reading and writing separately as in earlier models, the trend has been to teach them simultaneously. It makes sense that research has shown (Savage J, 1998) that these skills are acquired concurrently as part of a collaborative process. Thus, it makes sense to incorporate writing and reading into a single learning strategy, such as the RACE  writing strategy.

How to Teach Race Strategy Writing Effectively?

There are various ways to teach race writing strategy to learners. You know your students best, so you can select and tailor your instruction to their needs. Here are some general pointers to remember.

How to teach race writing strategy

Select the suitable text for race strategy

Of course, it's up to your students to select the appropriate text. There are numerous applications for the RACE/RACES strategy that they can use with any text. However, here is some simple advice for effective teaching.

Start with a straightforward paragraph on reading comprehension. It needs to be both understandable to students and substantial enough to include details. Rather than concentrating on comprehending the text, we want to continue answering the question. It works best for this purpose, to start with a simple passage on an interesting subject. Learners can eventually be challenged with more complex text as they gain proficiency.

Make changes based on the needs of the students

With RACE/RACES, differentiation is quite simple and easy. To make it easy for your struggling and special education students, select passages that your students are familiar with in some way. For instance, you may select a text that they have already read or a topic that has been studied before.

Employ a variety of reading resources 

We know the importance of providing a diverse range of reading materials for our students. You can use the RACE/RACES strategy for any type of reading. As students get used to the RACE/RACES approach, you can select any kind of reading material that can be effective.

Another way to differentiate instruction is to assign multiple passages to students with different skill levels in your classroom. Here are some ideas for when it's time to give the texts more diversity and difficulty:

  • Change the text's length.
  • Change up the genre: expository, persuasive, nonfiction, fiction, etc.
  • Change complexity
  • Differentiate the questions
  • Use passages in pairs.

Apply color coding to draw attention

Highlight and underline text as you go through the RACE-RACES steps, and use different colors to color-code each step. After that, carry on with the think-aloud and modeling for as long as the students require.

Teach vocabulary and important terms

Explain key terms and techniques as you "think aloud." As you teach, make frequent use of the terms every day. Students should acquire new words and vocabulary when they hear them frequently and naturally. 

Provide visuals for easy reference

In your classroom, post visuals and invite the class to examine them. Posters are excellent visual representations that can be displayed in the classroom. You can work in small groups or as a class to create anchor charts.

The RACE/RACES bookmarks can be used by students as desk or notebook references. Several copies of the bookmark references to be kept in notebooks at home and at school could be beneficial for them.

Consider reviewing and pacing

You may teach one, two, or more steps each day. The age and skill level of your students determines the pace. It is necessary to continually model and practice the RACE/RACES approach. Students should first practice as a group, together, before being progressively allowed to become more independent.

Race strategy anchor chart

Make an anchor chart with the key components of the skill as you teach the RACE strategy. Students can review what you've taught them by using an anchor chart, which you can write on whiteboard paper or anchor chart paper.
Provide a brief explanation of each RACE strategy step on your anchor chart. Include any sentence starters that you would like your students to use.

You can also learn “how to write a college essay”with the help of our expert guide.

Final Thoughts

You should give the RACE writing strategy a try if you haven't already when instructing students on how to write paragraphs or constructed responses! Because it gives them a structure to follow, offers sentence stems, supports each stage of the paragraph-writing process, and can be applied to essay writing as well, hence it's an excellent way to scaffold students' writing skills.



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