Friday, May 30, 2008

The Writing Process

The purpose of this blog is to share interesting ideas I have found in American professional publications dealing with the teaching of English at all levels, elementary, secondary and college.

Topic: The Writing Process

Title: “Writing Steps: A Recursive and Individual Experience.” Bonnie Mary Warne. English Journal (May 2008), 23 -27. A publication of the National Council of Teachers of English (NCTE).

Summary: OK, we know that the writing process includes brainstorming, drafting, revising, editing and publishing. But is that all there is to the writing process? This teacher used those terms as a general summary of the process, but she also encouraged students to formulate what really happened while they were engaging in those steps.

For example, one student spent considerable time thinking and composing after he had brainstormed but before writing. Students also recognized that the steps were not isolated, nor necessarily effective, in the order that they were listed. They kept returning to steps in the process, i.e., recursive. As a result, students understood better how they really went about writing successfully.

Comment: There’s the ideal world and the real world of writing. I’m reminded of a father who told me his son achieved B’s and C’s when he followed the steps in writing I had taught him, but when he dashed off an assignment on the morning it was due, he earned A’s. OUCH! Moral: encourage students to try to understand their real writing processes. RayS.

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