AFT - American Federation of Teachers

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Tips to Support Student Writing

Writing is more successful when students:

  • are allowed to select a topic of high interest to them;
  • identify something to say about that topic that commits them to a direction, a stand, an opinion worth sharing that can help someone else understand why the topic is important and interesting;
  • discuss and find resources for learning more about the topic and that help support their opinions;
  • plan a timeline;
  • write a rough draft;
  • edit and rewrite; and
  • produce a final draft and share it.

The National Writing Project (www.nwp.org) recommends the following tips for engaging students in the writing process.

  1. Use the shared events of students’ lives to inspire writing.
  2. Use writing to improve relations among students.
  3. Ease into writing workshops by presenting yourself as a model.
  4. Use casual talk about students’ lives to generate writing.
  5. Give students a chance to write to an audience for real purpose.
  6. Practice and play with revision techniques.
  7. Encourage descriptive writing by focusing on the sounds of words.
  8. Require written response to peers’ writing.
  9. Challenge students to find active verbs.
  10. Ground writing in social issues important to students.
  11. Use real world examples to reinforce writing conventions.
  12. Introduce multi-genre writing in the context of community service.