About Writing

Literacy Coaches Explore Their Work Through Vignettes

Author: Carrie Usui Summary: What is the work of a literacy coach? Twelve UCLA Writing Project teacher-consultants serving as literacy coaches in the LA Unified School District spent a weekend retreat exploring that question by writing vignettes as a way to illustrate what it is they do as coaches. Here...

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...

Writing Spaces: Expanding the One-Story House

Author: Elizabeth Leiknes Summary: Leiknes encourages a fresh perspective on how we approach writing as a process with young authors. Using her own home as an organizing metaphor, she points out ways to clear the cobwebs in prewriting, to try a fresh coat of paint when drafting, to collect tools...

Elbow Room: Tweaking Response in the Secondary Classroom

Author: Anne Marie Liebel Summary: Using Peter Elbow’s theory of peer response as described in Writing Without Teachers, Ann Marie Liebel began implementing response groups, providing space for her student writers to lead the way in revision. Central here are the ways she reflected as a teacher/facilitator and the ways...

Improving Assignments With the Writing Assignment Framework

Author: National Writing Project and Mary Ann Smith Summary: Featuring a range of protocols, tools, and student samples, the Writing Assignment Framework and Overview was designed as a resource for use in planning instruction and professional development. Growing out of work NWP did with the Authentic Intellectual Work framework, these...

Long-Term English Learners Writing Their Stories

Author: Lynn Jacobs Summary: Long-term English learners—those who typically have attended school for at least seven years—speak English well but are often considered below grade level. Because they assume many adult responsibilities in their out-of-school lives, including household duties and translating for family and others, they present opportunities for teachers...

Negotiating Academic Discourse

Author: Linda Flower Summary: This report discusses the difficulties experienced by many college freshmen as they seek to negotiate the transition from a writing process based on comprehension and response to a more fully rhetorical, constructive process. Summarizing a series of research studies on student responses to a reading-to-write task,...

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.

Rural Voices Radio, Volume III

Author: National Writing Project Summary: Rural Voices Radio, Volume III completes the Rural Voices Radio series with dispatches 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,...