About Writing

Nurturing Middle School Readers through Reviews and Book Trailers

Author: Jeremy Hyler Summary: Are you and your students looking for an escape from traditional book reports? Is it time to go digital? Check out this brief description of a strategy for engaging students as book reviewers and producers of 30-second book trailers using Animoto. A side-by-side graphic compares instructions...

Preaching What We Practice

Author: Shelbie Witte Summary: In what ways do teachers of writing use revision in their own writing? How do digital writing environments impact revision and its instruction? What are teachers’ perceptions of revision in their own writing and in writing instruction in the classroom? Shelbie Witte’s research investigated these questions...

Patricia Smith: Exploring Life Through the Poetry of Personas

Summary: Renowned poet and poetry slam performer Patricia Smith explores urban life and history by getting into people’s skins and speaking their words. In this powerful and inspiring keynote for NWP’s 2010 Urban Sites Network Conference, she reflects on her teaching experience and the incredible power of language to unlock...

Teaching Informed Argument for Solution-Oriented Citizenship

Author: Casey Olsen Summary: In this article, Casey Olsen, a high school teacher involved in the NWP’s College, Career, and Community Writers Program (C3WP), describes an approach to teaching argument that helps his students “develop understandings and skills that change the way they experience the conversations that surround them.” Olsen...

The Writing Assessment Badge Series: Public Criteria

Summary: NWP awards three successive badges to scorers and leaders at NWP scoring events. NWP Scoring Conferences are national events organized and facilitated by the National Writing Project where Writing Project teachers come together and train to score student writing to determine measurable outcomes of a program. Scoring Conferences consist...

How to Build Better Engineers: A Practical Approach to the Mechanics of Text

Author: Ron E. Smelser Summary: How do engineers write: in what ways, for what audiences, and for what purposes? How do we, as teachers, support students in understanding that writing clearly to communicate arguments in proposals and presentations is an important skill for college and careers? This article presents a...

Portfolios That Make a Difference: A Four-Year Journey

Author: Judith Ruhana Summary: In this article, a teacher recaps her journey with portfolio assessment over four years. The writer shows how teachers can and need to adjust their teaching based on their students’ reflections on learning. The article will be of interest to teachers grappling with issues of assessment...

Standardized Writing Opportunities: A Case Study of Writing Instruction in Inclusive Classrooms

Author: Laura E. Bray, Alicia A. Mrachko, Christopher J. Lemons Summary: This study of the writing opportunities provided to middle school students with disabilities in an inclusion setting finds that standardized goals and outcomes (driven by accountability policy) and a lack of differentiation are the norm, resulting in low-quality writing...

Reflection & Reform: Five Myths About Reflective Writing

Author: Joe Check Summary: Making an argument for reflective teaching in the face of mandated, external programs, the author identifies five “myths” or beliefs about reflective writing and suggests ways to address the negative attitudes engendered by them. Useful to demonstrate the potential for connection between reflective teacher inquiry and...

Getting Real: Authenticity in Writing Prompts

Author: Patricia Slagle Summary: Are you excited about the idea of giving your students an authentic audience for their writing? If so, you will find this description of authentic writing prompts in a high school class a valuable resource. While the strategies and examples are drawn directly from a high...