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ERIC Number: EJ858792
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2009-Sep
Pages: 4
Abstractor: ERIC
Reference Count: 6
ISSN: ISSN-1529-8957
Writing by Any Other Name
Yancey, Kathleen Blake
Principal Leadership, v10 n1 p26-29 Sep 2009
People are writing as never before--in blogs and text messages and on MySpace and Facebook and Twitter. Teenagers do a good deal of this writing, and in some composing environments--for example, the text-messaging space of a cell phone--they are ahead of adults in their invention of new writing practices and new genres. At the same time, teenagers do not seem to recognize that all of their out-of-school writing "is" writing. According to a 2008 Pew Study, teenagers reported that they do two kinds of writing: the composing they do in school is what they call "writing," but what they do outside of school is a different practice that they call "communication." So while teenagers seem to be writing nonstop, they are not enthusiastic about writing in school, where they find that much--if not most--of their writing is focused on performances on high-stakes local and state tests, AP exams, SAT and ACT tests, and the like. To them, school writing is not writing for other human beings who respond, but rather an exercise in test taking. Given this disconnect in writing practices, how can educators encourage students to see the writing they are doing in all these environments and through various media as writing? How can educators help teens draw on all their experiences to become better writers? What practices will encourage teens to become thoughtful and informed writers? In this article, two research-based best practices and a sample writing assignment begin to illustrate a new model of composing for the 21st century that encourages students to think of all their composing as writing.
National Association of Secondary School Principals. 1904 Association Drive, Reston, VA 20191-1537. Tel: 800-253-7746; Tel: 703-860-0200; Fax: 703-620-6534; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: High Schools
Audience: Teachers
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Florida