About Writing

Radical Revision Strategies: My Road from Fairy Tale to Catharsis

Author: Juanita Willingham Summary: A teacher-writer shares her experience using “radical revision,” a strategy for taking one’s writing apart and reassembling it. In the process of illustrating the impact of trying out various revisions of a poignant poem she wrote and shared with a writing group, she includes five clear and...

Promises of Coherence, Weak Content, and Strong Organization: An Analysis of the Student Text

Author: Margaret Kantz Summary: This report looks at ways in which college freshmen interpreted and negotiated an assignment calling for writing based on reading, along with how teachers then judged the abilities and preparation of the students based on that writing. The study discovered that students and teachers had different...

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.

Reflective Journaling for Deeper Student Learning

Author: Anna Collins Trest Summary: Are you struggling to get students to write during journaling time? Are the responses you get cursory or less than you had hoped? If so (and even if not), then read how one elementary teacher transformed the depth of students’ writing responses by transitioning from...

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.

Seeing Academic Writing with a New “I”

Author: Rebecca Feldbusch Summary: How often do we tell our students (or ourselves) that making personal connections will strengthen their writing, and yet when it comes to academic writing warn against employing the evil “I”? In this essay, Rebecca Feldbusch pushes back against the strong admonitions of teachers across the...

Should We Teach the Five-Paragraph Essay?

Author: Josh Boldt Summary: When teaching tools like the five-paragraph essay shift from useful foundation to unnecessary restriction, students’ abilities to expand on ideas in analytical and creative ways can be hampered. Josh Boldt, who teaches writing at the University of Georgia in Athens, shares his thoughts.

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...

Know ELLs: Support for Teachers of English Language Learners

Author: Great Valley Writing Project Summary: This Ning, a social website/blog developed and maintained by several teacher leaders from the Grand Valley Writing Project in Central California, focuses on issues related to teaching English Language Learners. Sites and teacher leaders looking to maintain momentum after the conclusion of an institute or...

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...