The product approach is a traditional approach to teaching writing. In fact, this approach has been around since the 17th century. In order to minimize students’ difficulties in writing, this approach assumes it is best to get them to start writing from a very controlled basis. Typically the students are given a model text which they study and analyze. They then imitate the model by writing a similar text.
There are four main steps in applying the product approach to writing.
Step 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.
Step 2: Students do controlled activities to practice the features highlighted in the analysis of the model text.
Step 3: Students prepare to imitate the model text by organizing a pre-determined set of ideas to fit the model.
Step 4: Students do the writing task by using the skills, structures and vocabulary they have practiced to produce the expected written product.