NotesFAQContact Us
Search Tips
Peer reviewed Peer reviewed
PDF on ERIC Download full text
ERIC Number: EJ1097451
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2012
Pages: 6
Abstractor: ERIC
SSD 5-4-3: A Dialogical Writing Warm-Up
Mulder, Tom
NADE Digest, v6 n1 p49-58 Fall 2012
The Silent Socratic Dialogue (SSD) writing warm-up technique places college students in a dialogic setting in which they construct the texts that explore, inform, and challenge each other through a succession of questions and answers. It validates students' voices, ideas, and interactions as worthy of study while engaging them in the interrelationships of reading, writing, thinking, and communicating (Elbow 369). Students engage in dialogue internally with themselves as they select and explore appropriate topics, such as choosing and promoting a favorite outdoor place. And they interact externally with one another as they write to respond to a variety of texts and purposes as their writing prompts, partners, and questions change daily. Their personal conversations empower students to try new roles, express their voices, construct new meanings, reflect on their understandings, respond to each other's experiences and perspectives, and pose challenging questions (Fecho 6). In this article, Grand Rapids Community College (Grand Rapids, Michigan) adjunct instructor Tom Mulder describes how in his class he uses a daily writing warm-up exercise the follows the same SSD 5-4-3 format: 5 sentences (write five sentences initiated by a writing prompt)--partner question (switch journals with an assigned partner, read the five sentences, and write a one-sentence question to continue the conversation)--4 sentences (write a four-sentence response to your partner's question)--partner question (switch journals again, read the four sentences, pose another question)--3 sentences (write a three-sentence answer). As they interact, students apply thinking skills to adapt questions and responses to real audiences for Silent Socratic Dialogue. They have to communicate clearly, consider unanticipated questions, and address diverse perspectives. The SSD approach gives students an immediate, live audience that brings real-world issues to classroom writing. GRCC's student population is diverse racially, ethnically, economically, vocationally, socially, and generationally, so each new pairing requires adaptations for audience. Mulder has successfully used SSD 5-4-3 with developmental composition students as well as advanced composition, education, and content-delivery classes.
National Association for Developmental Education. 170 Kinnelon Road Suite 33, Kinnelon, NJ 07405. Tel: 877-233-9455; Fax: 973-838-7124; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: Higher Education; Postsecondary Education; Two Year Colleges
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Michigan
Grant or Contract Numbers: N/A