ERIC Number: ED381780
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1995-May
Reference Count: N/A
The Do It Wrong Approach to Writing.
Deliberately writing badly can be an effective way to learn to write better because knowing when writing is bad is an essential element in knowing when it's good. There are distinct advantages to encouraging students to learn the rules by breaking them. Deliberately doing it wrong removes the threat of failure. Students are playing; they are having fun. Some particular examples of this teaching approach are as follows. One, after reviewing common grammatical problems that have come up in students' writing, assign students to turn in a page of writing that breaks as many of these rules as possible. Two, after illustrating what makes a good opening for an article, give students a list of 10 article ideas and have them write bad leads for them. Three, give out a list of wordy phrases and cliches and assign each student to write a coherent paragraph that uses as many of the phrases from the list as possible. Four, in teaching typography in basic desktop publishing, give students a list of short quotations, sayings, product names, value words, etc., and assign them to produce a one-page poster with a typeface that is complete inappropriate. These and other exercises follow a similar structure: (1) learn the rules; (2) break the rules; (3) identify where someone else has broken the rules; (4) clarify what the rules are; (5) correct someone else's broken rules; and (6) produce an original example that fulfills the rules. (TB)
Publication Type: Opinion Papers; Reports - Descriptive; Guides - Classroom - Teacher
Education Level: N/A
Audience: Teachers; Practitioners
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers: Writing Development
Note: The Teaching Strategies Sharing Project.