What are some effective methods for helping students improve their writing? Finds that both teacher correction and simple underlining of errors are superior to labeling the type of error, even with underlining, for reducing long-term error. Teacher correction results in the most accurate revisions and is preferred by students for its efficiency, but students indicate that they learn more from self-correction based on teacher underlining of errors, which also requires less teacher time. Chandler. Research in the Teaching of English (Nov. 04), 205. (abs.) Students make fewer errors if they learn to find their own errors and make their own corrections rather than having their errors corrected by the teacher. [How help students to “find” their own errors? Ray. ] DR Ferris. Research in the Teaching of English (Nov. 04), 204. (abs.)
How do students’ timed essays differ from their untimed essays? Compare timed essays with students’ untimed essays. Y Cho. Research in the Teaching of English (Nov. 04), 205. (abs.) [RayS: Many years ago, a father told me that when his son went through all the steps in the writing process, his grade was lower than when he dashed off his essay five minutes before catching the school bus.]
What are some challenges in teaching writing? Identify and describe a level of competence expected of students completing our writing courses. JF Kobler. College Composition and Communication (Oct. 78), 264-266.
How help students identify and solve problems in writing? Give students a monthly calendar. Each day of the calendar has a problem in sentence structure, usage or punctuation. Mathematics Teacher (March 05), 480-481. [Reaction: Take the problems from grammar texts or SAT prep materials. Put them in the form of the SAT objective writing questions. You could use the same problem for a week, maybe for the entire month, like passive/active voice. A way of highlighting the kinds of problems that will appear on the SAT writing section.]
Are grammar and composition the same? “For years we have taught grammar and usage, thinking that we were teaching composition, but the kind of mental activity required for grammatical analysis is not the same as that required for composing….” RL Graves. College Composition and Communication (Oct. 78), 227.
How give effective writing assignments? Students need to understand clearly the purpose of a writing assignment. A Beaufort. Research in the Teaching of English (Nov. 04), 162. (abs.)
How distinguish between an amateur and a professional writer? “The amateur wants to be a writer. The professional wants to write.” BJ Chute. The Writer (May 1950). [Wrt (May 05), 8.]
What are ideal conditions in which to write? “Don’t look for ideal writing conditions. They don’t exist. Work where you are and with what you have.” BJ Chute. The Writer (May 1950). [The Writer (May 05), 8.]