About Writing

National Writing Project Offers High-Quality Writing Assessment Services

Summary: Over an eight-year period, the National Writing Project created and refined the Analytic Writing Continuum (AWC) Assessment System, originally based on the framework of the Six +1 Trait Writing Model (Bellamy, 2005), for research and instructional purposes. Unlike the holistic scores used in most large-scale writing assessments which offer...

Literacy in the Digital Age

Guests: Natalie Franzi, Steve Figurelli, Paul Oh, and Claire Rivero Summary: In this webinar representatives from the NWP, the Teaching Channel, and Student Achievement Partners discuss effective uses of digital literacy tools, arguing that our vision must evolve to incorporate a new approach to literacy instruction, one in which technology...

Local Site Research Initiative Final Report: Impact of NWP Professional Development on Student Learning

Summary: This report on the 2004-2006 results of Local Sites Research Initiative studies demonstrates the positive impact of NWP professional development on student learning. Conducted at a variety of sites around the nation, these studies consistently showed greater improvement in writing on every measured attribute among students taught by NWP-trained...

The Writing Assessment Badge Series: Guidance Criteria

Summary: The National Writing Project awards badges to educators who have taken part in NWP scoring events. The badges recognize educators’ invaluable contributions as Scorers, Table Leaders, or Room Leaders. The guidance criteria for earning each badge are detailed on this page.

Heart and Voice: A Digital Storytelling Journey

Author: Kerry Ballast Summary: Kerry Ballast’s essay tells the story of how she transformed her teaching and her relationship with her students and technology – doing what she knows best as a teacher of writing while, at the same time, learning from and with her tech-savvy students. Together they transform...

In Common: Effective Writing for All Students—A Collection of K-12 Argument/Opinion Writing Samples

Author: The Vermont Writing Collaborative, Student Achievement Partners, CCSSO Summary: This collection, available online or as a PDF, contains a wide variety of K-12 student argument and opinion writing samples, accompanied by annotations using the language of the Common Core State Standards. These samples could be useful for professional development...

On the Use of Metawriting to Learn Grammar and Mechanics

Author: Douglas James Joyce Summary: In this short article, the author proposes a strategy to support college composition students to develop an awareness of grammatical patterns underlying their writing including their errors. The article includes an assignment and student examples, and may be useful in discussions among high school teachers...

Why I Write: Jane Hirshfield Writes about Life’s Profound Mystery

Author: Jane Hirshfield Summary: Prize-winning international poet, translator, and essayist Jane Hirshfield’s poetry speaks to the central issues of human existence: desire and loss, impermanence and beauty, and the many dimensions of our connection with others. She tells NWP why she writes.

Collaborating to Write Dialogue

Author: Janis Cramer Summary: By engaging children in a collaborative workshop environment to help them learn to develop characters, consider word choice, and interweave dialogue and description, the author simultaneously helped her students to strengthen social and independent writing skills. Opportunities to perform their dialogues in front of the class...

Narrative Knowers, Expository Knowledge: Discourse as Dialectic

Author: Anne DiPardo Summary: DiPardo addresses the divide between narrative and expository writing, noting the problematic tendency in composition teaching and scholarship to privilege “pure” exposition. She argues that instruction which fosters this divide, which contends narrative and expository are separate modes, denies students the opportunity to develop a complex...