Language Arts: Research & Technical Writing [§
Texas Legacy site hosts a variety of educational curricula, lesson
plans, keys and ideas, and supporting media, including video,
databases, transcripts and other material. Below you can find
the TEKS standards for Research and Technical Writing, section
110.53(b)(1) with relevant
activities drawn from this archive.
The student develops skills necessary for writing persuasive and
informative texts such as essays, reports, proposals, and memoranda:
Excerpts of TEKS Text
(A) write informative and persuasive texts, including essays,
reports, and proposals;
the narrators in the TexasLegacy.org have found themselves in
situations where they need to write persuasively about an
environmental problem that concerns them, using the correct
format, voice and style, aimed at the appropriate audience, and
presented in logical and coherent manner. Their work can
provide a good model for students.
video excerpt from
interview, to help understand the basic tenet of good essay
writing, which, in Thoreau's view, was to simply tell the
the video excerpts from journalists
Betty Brink and
Andy Sansom, to better understand the value of the
truth, and at times, the high stakes that truth-telling
Practice what you've learned!
Alma Burnam's suggestion, and write a persuasive essay
about a conservation-oriented or other civic issue that concerns
you, and send it to your political representatives.
(B) use the
distinguishing characteristics of various written forms such as
essays, scientific reports, speeches, and memoranda;
include journalists who write essays, scientists who write
technical reports, and politicians and ministers who prepare
speeches. Examples from their work can help students
compare and distinguish these different ways of communicating.
Look at the
video excerpt from novelist
John Graves, to
help understand the distinction between argumentative writing or
propaganda, and more creative forms of literature.
(C) write in voice and
style appropriate to audience and purpose;
archive includes numerous scientists who must straddle the
high-tech world where they do their research, and the broader
world where they must operate to explain the value and meaning
of their research.
Consider the challenge
for the many scientists in the TexasLegacy.org project who must
decide how to describe their work - in the technical terms of a
peer-reviewed paper, or in the layman's terms that would be seen
in a newspaper or magazine. If they are overly technical,
will they fail to reach part of their audience? If they
are overly "user-friendly", will they be accused of
oversimplifying the issues?
As an example, consider the
video excerpt from
Dr. Clark Hubbs'
interview, where he laments the failure of the lay public to
protect the creatures that scientists have found to be most
endangered. How would you write a persuasive article for
Dr. Hubbs in a way that would fit the scientific facts, follow
the protection purpose, and reach the general voting public?
(D) organize ideas in
writing to ensure coherence, logical progression, and support
Many of the
TexasLegacy.org narrators are faced with challenges of
explaining complicated and technical issues, whether they
involve the complexities of ozone formation or the ethical
dilemmas of population growth. They need to be clear,
coherent, logical in their writing to convey these ideas.
information is critical to include,
especially in a time when many environmental concerns become
fraught with accusations of "junk science". Read the
Roy Malveaux's experience with citizen air pollution
Having a logical
progression from supporting information
is equally important in writing. The biologist
Jim Earhart points out how an essay's executive summary
can sometimes fail to lead logically from, and be supported by,
the main ideas in the body of the text.