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MS in Education Course Insight: Improve Student Writing With the MEAL Plan

Discover what Walden’s Riley College of Education and Human Sciences students have already learned and the teaching strategies used that can help you improve your students’ writing.

For students to truly excel, they need to know how to express themselves well, particularly in writing. But in your teaching career, you’re likely to encounter many students who struggle with basic composition skills. Fortunately, there’s a teaching strategy that can help your students improve their writing: the MEAL plan.

Focused on developing strong paragraphs, the MEAL plan provides an easy-to-remember, four-step composition process that can help students write more clearly, whether they’re just beginning to write essays or are in a graduate-level course. The components of the MEAL plan, as described in Walden’s “Graduate Writing 1: Basic Composition Skills,” include:1

MS in Education Course Insight: Improve Student Writing With the MEAL Plan

Main Idea

This is usually expressed in a strong topic sentence.


Use source material as evidence to discuss your topic and promote your academic argument. The word evidence is another way to say source citations.


Explain, incorporate, and integrate that evidence by providing some analysis. Analysis is where you can compare, contrast, and provide explanations for the source material, why it is important, and how it relates to your main idea.


Sum up what the paragraph discussed and then preview what is coming in the next paragraph so that the reader can smoothly move from one idea to the next.

How Can You Learn More About Teaching?

The above information about the MEAL plan comes directly from coursework within Walden University’s MS in Education (MSEd) program. Students earning their master’s in education from Walden regularly study a wide range of teaching strategies, including those focused on improving student writing. If you want to advance your skills as a teacher and put yourself in a better position for promotion and higher teacher’s salaries, an MSEd degree from Walden can be an excellent choice. Particularly since Walden offers its master’s in education online.

What’s the advantage of online learning? For one, when you choose an online master’s in education program, you don’t have to move to be near a campus or even drive to one. Instead, through online education, you can earn your MS in Education right from home. Plus, Walden’s online teaching degree programs allow you to attend class at whatever time of day works best for your schedule. This level of flexibility means you can earn your master’s degree in education while you continue to teach full time.

Helping your students write well is an important part of teaching. With the coursework in Walden’s MSEd program, you can gain the skills you need to help your students excel.

Walden University is an accredited institution offering an MS in Education degree program online. Expand your career options and earn your degree in a convenient, flexible format that fits your busy life.

1Source:, Walden Course Curriculum

Walden University is accredited by The Higher Learning Commission,