Monday, October 29, 2007

Professional Journals on Writing 01

Question: What can be learned from professional educational journals about teaching and learning to write?

Answer. Note from RayS: I will shift my Q & A on Writing column to summarizing the more interesting ideas from professional educational journals on the teaching of writing. While these articles will be primarily of interest to teachers from kindergarten through college, they might also be useful for the general reader.

How help students become better interviewers? Interviewing influences improvement of oral expression through formulating worthwhile questions; speaking in a clear and easily understood voice; developing listening skills; expressing appreciation for the information given; developing poise and self-confidence; summarizing what was learned. EG Cowe. Language Arts (Sept. 76), 633.

Why do teachers give the grades in writing that they do? The most significant influence proved to be the strength of the content of the essay. The second most important influence proved to be the strength of the organization of that content. The third significant influence was the strength of the mechanics. SW Freedman. College Composition and Communication (May 79), 163.

How teach formal expression to students? Give students exercises to help them translate spoken dialect into formal writing. P Silber. College Composition and Communication (Oct. 79), 294-300.

How cut your word count—and improve your writing?
1. Outline your article—preferably before and after your first draft. 2. Examine the length of your lead. Excessively long leads can cause readers to lose interest. 3. Is all your background material really needed? 4. See if you can lose some summary or description. 5. Study your transitions. 6. Save only the best anecdotes and quotes. 7. Go sentence by sentence. 8. Assign priorities. JK Borchardt. The Writer (Apr. 06), 36-38.

How teach students to write letters of application? Letters of application are often written for jobs that do not clearly match the educational background of the student. Students must be shown how to relate the job to the educational background and personal experience of the applicant. EM Walsh. College Composition and Communication (Dec. 77), 375.

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