Weekly Digest #44: Teaching Composition

Weekly Digest #44: Teaching Composition

Image from Pixabay.com

Image from Pixabay.com

Teaching students to write well can be extremely difficult. As professors, we’re always looking for good resources and tips for developing our students as writers at the college level.  We’ve posted digests with writing resources for teachers and students, resources to assist with grading writing, and resources to help teachers teach about plagiarism, and help students recognize plagiarism. Today’s digest is again about writing. This time, we present evidence-based resources on teaching composition to students of varying ages and abilities.

 

1) We Know What Works in Teaching Composition by Doug Hesse, @DougHesse

In this article, Hesse first reviews the history of research in teaching composition, and then provides a number of bullet points describing what the best writing course should look like, based on decades of research. 

Image from linked source

Image from linked source

 

2) Teaching Elementary School Students to Be Effective Writers by What Works Clearinghouse, Institute of Education Sciences (IES), @WhatWorksED

Image from Flickr, woodleywonderworks

Image from Flickr, woodleywonderworks

This practice guide contains four clear recommendations based on research for helping elementary school children learn to write. You can click to learn more about each of the four recommendations, including reading summaries and watching brief videos for the recommendation of your choice. You can also download the Practice Guide Summary, an 8-page PDF with the essentials, or full Practice Guide, 109 pages of recommendations and science!

 

3) Teaching Secondary Students to Write Effectively by What Works Clearinghouse, Institute of Education Sciences (IES), @WhatWorksED

Similar to the guide above, this resource contains three evidence-based recommendations for teaching writing to secondary students (grades 6-12). You can learn more about each recommendation, or download the full Practice Guide.

Image from linked source

Image from linked source

 

4) Project WRITE by Vanderbilt Kennedy Center, @Vanderbilt_KC

Project WRITE contains information about 6 stages of writing instruction and contains lesson plans. All of the information is based on Self-Regulated Strategies Development (SRSD), an evidence-based approach to teaching writing. This approach has been shown to be effective with a number of different types of students with varying levels of writing ability. Project WRITE describes SRSD, but you can also check out this page to learn more about SRSD.

 

5) Writing Beyond Writing Classes by Doug Hesse, @DougHesse

Written by the author of the first resource, this is a short booklet describing the best ways to create writing assignments as well as using writing to help students learn content. Hesse delineates between learning to write and writing to learn. This booklet further discusses writing assignments in various contexts and helping students learn to write within a discipline. We became aware of this resource because Rhode Island College (Megan's home institution) uses it during Summer Seminars on Teaching Writing, a professional development series.

Image from Flickr, Vancouver Film School

Image from Flickr, Vancouver Film School


Every Sunday, we pick a theme and provide a curated list of links. If you have a theme suggestion, please don’t hesitate to contact us! Our 5 most recent digests can be found here:

Weekly Digest #39: Writing Strategies for Students

Weekly Digest #40: Teachers' Implementations of Principles from "Make It Stick"

Weekly Digest #41: Preparing a Syllabus

Weekly Digest #42: Are You Writing Yet?

Weekly Digest #43: Unleash Your Creativity

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