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Writing is a Process

Professional Knowledge for the Teaching of Writing, written by a committee of the NCTE Executive Committee, pinpoints 10 key issues in the effective teaching of writing. Over the next few weeks, we will unpack each one. This week, we will look at:

Writing is a process.”

Writing is not just the final, polished draft. Writing involves routines, skills, strategies, and practices, for generating, revising, and editing different kinds of texts. See the following resources from NCTE and ReadWriteThink.org on the process of writing.

While working with younger students, the “Implementing the Writing Process” strategy guide from ReadWriteThink.org explains the writing process and offers practical methods for applying it in your classroom to help students become proficient writers. See the writing process come alive with this visual.

Students sometimes have trouble understanding the difference between the global issues of revision and the local ones of editing. This lesson plan from ReadWriteThink.org first invites students to read several fractured fairy tales. Then, students make a list of the ways the original stories have been revised—changed or altered, not just “corrected”—to begin building a definition of global revision. After students have written a “revised” story of their own, they revise again, focusing more on audience but still paying attention to ideas, organization, and voice. During another session, students look at editing as a way to polish writing, establishing a definition of revision as a multi-level process.

In Strategic Writing: The Writing Process and Beyond in the Secondary English Classroom, Deborah Dean shares her insights as a classroom teacher with a variety of classroom practices, assignments, and lesson plans. Readers will discover innovative ways to teach writing, including sections on inquiry; on drafting with genre, audience, and purpose in mind; and on revising and refining the products of writing.

A resource from College Composition and Communication simple states “Writing itself is a process with many kinds of subprocesses, and even though our writing processes are increasingly based on digital technologies, we still use process as the term describing our making of writing.”

Read all about the writing process with this group of resources collected for the National Day on Writing.

How do you use the NCTE Professional Knowledge for the Teaching of Writing in your classroom?