Professional Learning: “Writing Next: Effective Strategies to Improve writing of Adolescents in Middle and High Schools”

“Writing Next:  Effective Strategies to Improve writing of Adolescents in Middle and High Schools”  This is a PDF of the report.


“Writing well is not just an option for young people—it is a necessity.  Along with reading comprehension, writing skill is a predictor of academic success and a basic requirement for participation in civic life and in the global economy.” (11)

As schools become more and more focused STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math), I have often wondered what the impact this focus will have on the other subjects including social studies, the arts, reading, and writing.  If the above quote is correct, how is writing instruction provided in meaningful and effective ways?  “Writing Next” provides Eleven Elements of Effective Adolescent Writing Instruction.

So, which of these elements am I as an English teacher responsible for?  Does any responsibility fall on teachers of other subject areas?  If so, how are those teachers supposed to know who to teach writing?

Reflection:  Think about these elements for a minute or two.  Which of them do you implement in your classroom?  Which of them do you see fitting into your work with students in the future?  How can you go about implementing more of the elements into your classroom?


Eleven Elements of Effective Adolescent Writing Instruction from “Writing Next:  Effective Strategies to Improve writing of Adolescents in Middle and High Schools”

1. Writing Strategies, which involves teaching students strategies for planning, revising, and editing their compositions

2. Summarization, which involves explicitly and systematically teaching students how to summarize texts

3. Collaborative Writing, which uses instructional arrangements in which adolescents work together to plan, draft, revise, and edit their compositions

4. Specific Product Goals, which assigns students specific, reachable goals for the writing they are to complete

5. Word Processing, which uses computers and word processors as instructional supports for writing assignments

6. Sentence Combining, which involves teaching students to construct more complex, sophisticated sentences

7. Prewriting, which engages students in activities designed to help them generate or organize ideas for their composition

8. Inquiry Activities, which engages students in analyzing immediate, concrete data to help them develop ideas and content for a particular writing task

9. Process Writing Approach, which interweaves a number of writing instructional activities in a workshop environment that stresses extended writing opportunities, writing for authentic audiences, personalized instruction, and cycles of writing

10. Study of Models, which provides students with opportunities to read, analyze, and emulate models of good writing

11. Writing for Content Learning, which uses writing as a tool for learning content material


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