About Writing

Writing Across the Hidden Curriculum

Author: William Strong Summary: Pushing back against the “hidden curriculum” of school writing as teacher-centered and reductive, Strong asserts a model of student-centered writing to learn. This article explains the importance of writing across disciplines and gives practical examples of authentic content area writing skills. His 12-point description of the...

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...

C3WP: Extended Research Arguments

Summary: This resource from NWP’s College, Career, and Community Writers Program (C3WP) includes actual assignments, student work, and interviews with teachers about one student’s process. The “Extended Research Argument” video is a good introduction to the resource, inviting you to explore the ideas behind extended argument and demonstrating how to...

Framework for Success in Postsecondary Writing

Summary: Developed collaboratively among representatives from the Council of Writing Program Administrators, the National Council of Teachers of English, and the National Writing Project, Framework for Success in Postsecondary Writing describes the rhetorical and twenty-first-century skills that are critical for college success based on current research in writing and writing...

Book Review: The Testing Trap: How State Writing Assessments Control Learning

Author: Carl Nagin Summary: This review of George Hillocks’s 2002 book, The Testing Trap: How State Writing Assessments Control Learning, is still a relevant read, providing history and research connected to the issues involved in high stakes state writing tests. The review details the validity and reliability of such tests,...

Grammar—Comma—a New Beginning

Author: Mary Ehrenworth Summary: Teaching grammar through inquiry and seduction? In this piece, Mary Ehrenworth shares strategies for moving away from direct instruction (which seldom works) to making it possible for students to “have an apprenticeship relation with great authors, even at the sentence structure level.” By honoring diverse dialects...

When Do Children Learn to Write? Earlier Than You Might Think

Author: Rebecca Treiman and Lori Markson Summary: Two developmental psychology scholars break down the beginnings of young children’s writing, with links to relevant research. This article could be useful for early childhood educators seeking to learn more about emphasizing writing in their literacy instruction, or aiming to advocate for the...

Writing to Transform: Teacher-Consultants Lead Change in Their Schools

Author: Linda Friedrich Summary: What do successful teacher leaders do? This short article suggests an emergent framework from a larger study about teacher leadership. Leaders address problems, facilitate collective learning, and celebrate the work of writing. This article could be powerful to read and discuss at a continuity event on...

A Cure for Writer’s Block: Writing for Real Audiences

Author: Ann Rodier Summary: This teacher describes how she connects as a writer to a student whose drafts begin to find a real audience. She discovers that by guiding student writers toward an authentic purpose for their writing, young authors can see themselves as professional writers. Use this narrative as...

Inviting Parents in: Expanding Our Community Base to Support Writing

Author: Cathy Fleischer and Kimberly Coupe Pavlock Summary: Looking for ideas for ways to reach out to parents to help them understand why we teach writing in the ways we do and to share successful strategies for how they might help their children or teens with writing?  And what about...