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ERIC Number: ED517367
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2007
Pages: 77
Abstractor: ERIC
Reference Count: 101
Writing Next: Effective Strategies to Improve Writing of Adolescents in Middle and High Schools. A Report to Carnegie Corporation of New York
Graham, Steve; Perin, Dolores
Alliance for Excellent Education
This report offers a number of specific teaching techniques that research suggests will help 4th- to 12th-grade students in this nation's schools. The report focuses on all students, not just those who display writing difficulties, although this latter group is deservedly the focus of much attention. The premise of this report is that all students need to become proficient and flexible writers. In this report, the term "low-achieving writers" is used to refer to students whose writing skills are not adequate to meet classroom demands. Some of these low-achieving writers have been identified as having learning disabilities; others are the "silent majority" who lack writing proficiency but do not receive additional help. As will be seen in this report, some studies investigate the effects of writing instruction on groups of students across the full range of ability, from more effective to less effective writers, while others focus specifically on individuals with low writing proficiency. Eleven elements of current writing instruction found to be effective for helping adolescent students learn to write well and to use writing as a tool for learning are identified. It is important to note that all of the elements are supported by rigorous research, but that even when used together, they do not constitute a full writing curriculum. These elements are: (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; and (11) Writing for Content Learning, which uses writing as a tool for learning content material. Appendices include: (1) Meta-analysis Methodology; and (2) Quasi-experimental and Experimental Studies Supporting the 11 Key Elements.
Alliance for Excellent Education. 1201 Connecticut Avenue NW Suite 901, Washington, DC 20036. Tel: 202-828-0828; Fax: 202-828-0821; Web site:
Publication Type: Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: Elementary Education; Grade 10; Grade 11; Grade 12; Grade 4; Grade 5; Grade 6; Grade 7; Grade 8; Grade 9; High Schools; Middle Schools; Secondary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: Alliance for Excellent Education; Carnegie Corporation of New York