About Writing

Measuring Civic Writing: The Development and Validation of the Civically Engaged Writing Analysis Continuum

Author: Linda Friedrich and Scott Strother Summary: This article examines the conceptual underpinnings and development process of the Civically Engaged Writing Analysis Continuum (CEWAC), a tool developed by the National Writing Project for assessing youth’s civically engaged writing. It also makes the case for CEWAC as a powerful tool both...

Inviting Parents in: Expanding Our Community Base to Support Writing

Author: Cathy Fleischer and Kimberly Coupe Pavlock Summary: Looking for ideas for ways to reach out to parents to help them understand why we teach writing in the ways we do and to share successful strategies for how they might help their children or teens with writing?  And what about...

Planning for Writing Instruction

Author: Mark Overmeyer Summary: In this brief tip from his book, When Writing Workshop Isn’t Working, Mark Overmeyer describes a process of collaborative backward planning that provides a scope and sequence for the year that meets district curriculum requirements, allows for the study of genres connected to various disciplines and...

Writing Centers: More Than Remediation

Author: Art Peterson Summary: A resource for educators interested in establishing writing centers or as a guide to professional conversations about the limits and possibilities of writing centers, this article reports on what one teacher learned from her experience of establishing a high school writing center. Jennifer Wells, a teacher-consultant...

Writing Together, at Home and Online

Summary: A sojourn at home can be the occasion for lots of creativity around topics and projects of interest. For those with internet access and a suitable devices, there are also ways to connect with others as you write. Here are some of our favorites from our colleague organizations in...

Writing from the Feather Circle

Author: G. Lynn Nelson Summary: In this resource, a writing teacher from Arizona applies the Native American feather circle to the teaching of writing and describes her work teaching sections of first-year composition exclusively for Native American students. The feather circle focuses on speaking from the heart; in the classroom...

A Cure for Writer’s Block: Writing for Real Audiences

Author: Ann Rodier Summary: This teacher describes how she connects as a writer to a student whose drafts begin to find a real audience. She discovers that by guiding student writers toward an authentic purpose for their writing, young authors can see themselves as professional writers. Use this narrative as...

A Principled Revolution in the Teaching of Writing

Author: Nicole Boudreau Smith Summary: Despite calls to action, writing pedagogy in the English classroom remains outdated, and caustic partisanship among theorists may be to blame. The author proposes a “principled approach” to the teaching of writing, combining the best elements of verified instructional methods to generate six components ensuring...

Beyond the Five-Paragraph Theme

Author: Glenda Moss Summary: Having taught the five-paragraph essay early in her career, Glenda Moss describes how she came to believe that it limits students as writers. By sharing her journey as she moved from middle-school teaching into working with college writers, she explores how the five-paragraph essay inhibited students’ critical...

Framework for Success in Postsecondary Writing

Summary: Developed collaboratively among representatives from the Council of Writing Program Administrators, the National Council of Teachers of English, and the National Writing Project, Framework for Success in Postsecondary Writing describes the rhetorical and twenty-first-century skills that are critical for college success based on current research in writing and writing...