ERIC Number: ED208408
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1981-Oct-10
Making Research Work for the Composition Teacher.
Every writing program contains implicit information on the amount of writing that should be assigned, how the essays should be evaluated, the type of grammar--if any--students should study, and the type of composition instruction that will be most effective. Research has not identified an optimal level of writing frequency, and although frequent writing may increase fluency, it does not by itself improve writing quality. Combining formal essays with informal, ungraded writing can help students improve both the fluency and the quality of their writing without increasing teachers' paper load. Research also suggests that the tradition and time consuming "student writes, teacher corrects" method should be modified. Giving students evaluative comments while they are drafting their essays encourages them to revise their writing to incorporate suggested changes. Peer evaluation helps students revise and develop a stronger sense of audience. Although students seem unable to translate concepts from formal grammar to strategies which improve their writing, research does support other approaches to grammar instruction, such as one which combines concepts from both traditional and transformational grammar. Grammar study is most useful when teachers make it an integral part of the writing curriculum and help students apply their grammatical knowledge during the final stage of editing or proofreading essays. Research also supports the claim that students learn to write better when teachers focus on the process rather than the product of writing. (HOD)
Publication Type: Speeches/Meeting Papers; Opinion Papers; Guides - Classroom - Teacher
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Note: Paper presented at the Meeting of the Southland Council of Teachers of English (Los Angeles, CA, October 10, 1981).