The average science course requires a student to learn the same number of new vocabulary words he or she would learn in a foreign-language course (1). Scientific writing allows students to express ideas and put them out there to be criticized by other scientists (students). We need to teach them how to translate complex news and research into lay language as well as how to write to inform, not impress (3, 4).
What are mentor texts?
Students should be reading "persuasive arguments, exploratory pieces, and captivating narratives." We learn and grow as writers by emulating other writers from that specific discipline.
When composing the aerial fight scenes in the Star Wars movies, George Lucas and his special effects team viewed old World War II dog fight footage for ideas.