About Writing

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...

Introduction: Why Digital Writing Matters

Author: National Writing Project, with Dànielle Nicole DeVoss, Elyse Eidman-Aadahl, and Troy Hicks Summary: What does it mean to write digitally? What does it mean to be a teacher of writing in a digital age? In this introduction to the book, Because Digital Writing Matters, the authors provide an overview...

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...

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...

Democracy, Struggle, and the Praxis of Assessment

Author: Tony Scott & Lil Brannon Summary: Invited to assist in restructuring the assessment practices of a college first-year writing program, Tony Scott and Lil Brannon examine the structure and ideology of the existing assessment system, exploring how it serves to preserve the status quo by providing seemingly objective proof...

Rural Voices Radio, Volume II

Author: National Writing Project Summary: Rural Voices Radio, Volume II presents audio programs from four more Writing Project sites as part of the Rural Voices, Country Schools program. Each episode paints a portrait of a rural school, as told by the students and teachers themselves, and celebrates what’s “genuinely good,...

Why I Write: To Awaken the Spirit in the Downtrodden

Author: Nnamdi Chukwuocha, Al Mills Summary: Poets and youth workers Al Mills and Nnamdi Chukwuocha answer the call to describe #WhyIWrite with a poem. The answer is inseparable from their community and the promise of the youth they work with.

Students as Writers and Composers: Workshopping in the Digital Age

Author: Troy Hicks and Franki Sibberson Summary: In this collaborative conversation between former middle school teacher and current National Writing Project site director Troy Hicks and third-grade teacher Franki Sibberson, they consider a range of teaching and learning practices that “guide students to consider themselves multimodal text-makers who combine words,...

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 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...