The RACE Writing Strategy: How to Teach It

To answer questions thoroughly, many instructors and pupils utilize the RACES or RACE writing approach, which entails citing and supporting responses with text evidence from the reading.

What Is the RACE/RACES Writing Response Strategy?

The RACE/RACES written response strategy is used by students and instructors for a reason. It’s a simple approach for teaching kids how to respond to text-based questions. The key elements of an excellent response are better remembered by kids while they answer questions about a passage, narrative, or another piece of writing with the aid of RACE

Why Should Teachers Use RACE/RACES?

Text-based questions, quizzes, tasks, and high-stakes exams cause students to struggle with completing full answers. RACE/RACES is a step-by-step approach that may be utilized in any discipline and results in increased self-esteem.

The RACE/RACES method aids in the organization of students’ thinking and writing. Students add specifics at each stage, such as referencing textual evidence and extending their responses, using this approach. As a result, students learn useful abilities while they practice producing complete, thorough, and clear answers.

What Do the Letters in RACE/RACES Mean?

RACES is one of the three forms under which French is taught. RACE/RACES are terms that indicate the following writing techniques:


  • R – Restate the question
  • A – Answer the question
  • C – Cite the text evidence
  • E – Explain and extend the evidence


  • R – Restate the question
  • A – Answer the question
  • C – Cite the text evidence
  • E – Explain and extend the evidence
  • S – Summarize your answer

The R in RACE/RACES means “Restate the question.”

The topic sentence of the student’s response is restating the question. The R in RACE/RACES does not need to be a complete sentence by itself. In many cases, the R is combined with the A in the same sentence. Remember that writing is customized and that there are numerous ways to accomplish it.

The A stands for “Answer the question.”

Students respond to the question in their own words. Many pupils, however, are unwilling to put forth the effort to go back and check the text. I urge my students to return to their reading even if they believe they already know the answer because looking back is part of what understanding entails.

The C stands for “Cite the text evidence.”

Students must first grasp the meaning of the term “cite.” I frequently invoke the phrase “sight” and link it to looking back in reading and seeing the answer with their eyes. The creation of that relationship might assist some pupils to recall the significance, especially if “cite” is a new term for them.

Students should regularly practice with sentence starters, which are the beginnings of sentences (also known as sentence stems). Students may use sentence starters to fill in the blanks using text evidence. They find them quite useful for this portion of the writing process, especially struggling students.

Some examples are:

“The text states ___”

“The author explains ___”

Students can use a variety of sentence starter options. They should utilize the ones they’re most comfortable with, and which come most easily to them. (If you’re searching for a set to put on display in your classroom, see the section at the end for links to matching sentence starter sets!)

The E stands for “Explain and extend the evidence.”

E’s abound in this step! Students are encouraged to elaborate on their responses in this stage. They should explain the answer and text evidence using their own words, as well as provide instances to help clarify their statements.

The S (if you choose to use it) stands for “Summarize your answer.”

As a restatement of the topic sentence in paragraph writing, this serves as a conclusion to the response. It closes the discussion.

RACE or RACES writing strategy bulletin board idea for a class

How Do I Teach the RACE/RACES Method?

There are several correct methods to teach a subject, just as there are many wrong ways. You know your pupils best, so you can precisely and individually tailor your teaching to their requirements.

The following are some broad suggestions to bear in mind:

  1. Choose the right text for the RACE/RACES strategy
  2. Differentiate for students and their needs method to answer a text-based question during class
  3. Use different types of reading materials
  4. Teach important words and terms
  5. Use colour-coding to highlight
  6. Offer visuals for easy reference
  7. Think about pacing and reviewing

The RACE/RACES approach must be modelled and practised many times. The exercise should be done as a group at first, with students gradually permitted to work alone.

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