Ernest Hemingway said, "Prose is architecture, not interior decoration." The teacher's role is to instruct, scaffold, and guide students in a "from-the-ground-up" arrangement of their ideas. There are different names for that process, but they all include the following steps:
Within that process, introduce a range of strategies. Let students choose how to make their writing individual. Although specific guidelines can be helpful, teaching formula writing as the only "right" way leads to confusion and limited skills.
There are, in the real world, many ways to edit, revise, and organize writing. We help students develop strong writing skills when we not only teach them the steps in the process, but also guide them while they take risks and explore. Students need to investigate choices and determine what works best for them. (HINT: You can't do this in whole group instruction.) Can we teach that level of writing to students, especially once they learn the basics? We must!
Modeling and group writing help students explore genres of composition and understand options. A group-write starts with one student naming a topic, another picking a tool for organizing ideas, and others providing the details.
From there, the drafting starts, with individuals adding additional sentences or comments that lead to revisions. (Each must have an explanation for validity). Let students debate revisions in word choice, clarity, and connection to the main topic. Using that first draft, allow each student to practice adding to it, plus revising and editing to make it their own.
John Oster, Professor Emeritus at the University of Albertas Secondary Education Department tells us, "a writing program should be flexible enough to accommodate the composing processes with which students have experienced success, while . . . providing them with opportunities for experiencing alternate strategies that they may adopt as part of their personal repertoire." Regardless of the model(s) you choose to teach writing, building just that sort of atmosphere insures that your students will become writing "architects" in their own right.