The Product Approach to Writing in 4 Steps

Mixed Ability Classes

The Product Approach

There are several ways to approach writing in the classroom.  One of these ways is the Product Approach which is a traditional approach to teaching writing in which students are encouraged to mimic a model text, which is usually presented and analysed at an early stage.

Some of the benefist and characteristics of this approach is that:

  1. Difficulties in writing are minimized since students start writing from a very controlled basis.
  2. Model texts are imitated.
  3. The organization of ideas are more important that the ideas themselves.
  4. A lot of emphasis is placed on the end product

Step to Apply the Product Approach to Writing

There are four main steps in applying the product approach to writing.

  1. Students read a model text. Then they analyze the text by looking at the features, such as organization of ideas, use of language, etc.
  2. Students do controlled activities to practice the features highlighted in the analysis of the model text.
  3. Students prepare to imitate the model text by organizing a pre-determined set of ideas to fit the model
  4.  Students do the writing task by using the skills, structures and vocabulary they have practiced to produce the expected written product.

Strenghts and Weakness of the Product Approach to Writing


  1.  It is easy to use with large classes.
  2. It is really useful when teaching beginners.
  3. It is easier to grade because this approach mainly focuses on form.
  4. Diffculties and errors aere usually minimized since this is based on imitation.
  5. Students know how the end results looks like.


  1. This approach doesn’t teach students to write independently.
  2. It discourages creativity since this approach relies heavily on the imitation of model text.
  3. It devalues the learner’s linguistic and personal potential.

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