Tag Archives: writing pedagogy

Teaching Writing: The Review of the Literature

This post is part of a series on Writing Pedagogy.

The review of the literature, also called a lit review,  is a tricky sub-genre of scholarly writing.  It sometimes shows up as a standalone document in class assignments or in the early stages of the research process. It also shows up as a section of a thesis-driven paper, article,  dissertation, or book.

Continue reading Teaching Writing: The Review of the Literature

Teaching Writing: Editing

This is part of a series of blog posts about guiding students through different stages of the writing process.

This post focuses on editing, the stage of the writing process in which we think about words and sentences. These strategies can be used in conjunction with one another or separately.

If revision is where the magic happens, editing is where we make it sparkle. When the draft has been completed from beginning to end, when it has been revised for coherence, when it has transitions that support the logical flow of ideas, the time arrives to attend to polishing our prose at the word and sentence level. Continue reading Teaching Writing: Editing

Teaching Writing: Drafting, Generativity vs. Judgement

This post is part of a series on Writing Pedagogy.

One of the most broadly applicable things I learned in all of my linguistics coursework as a graduate student is the distinction between fluency and accuracy. Fluency relates to the rhythm of speech–does it flow logically from one unit of syntax to the next? without artificial pauses in the middle of a phrase? without repetitions? Accuracy relates to the correctness of the speech produced–is the speaker following the rules of the language and dialect? can their interlocutor understand what is being said? Speech can be incomprehensible because of disfluency or because of inaccuracy or because of a combination of both. The average native speaker is able to achieve a high degree of accuracy at the same time as a high degree of fluency. Language learners, though, tend to optimize one at the expense of the other. (This is not necessarily a conscious choice on the part of the language learner.) Understanding this distinction helped me realize that as a language learner, I tend to optimize fluency. It also helped me to understand a struggle that I was seeing in my writing classroom when students were drafting. Continue reading Teaching Writing: Drafting, Generativity vs. Judgement

Teaching Writing: Topic Development

This post is part of a series on Writing Pedagogy.

When it comes to choosing topics for research papers, my students, at all levels of writing instruction, fall into two camps. First the Committers–they come to class with a specific topic that they are determined to research. Sometimes these topics are great. Sometimes, however, they are inappropriate to the course or have the wrong scope for the assignment. Then there are the Flailers, who come to class with no idea at all or with a long list of possible ideas, none of which they are willing to commit to. ┬áThe series of activities outlined in this post are designed to help both groups of students think carefully about the possibilities available to them in a given assignment, the demands and the limits of the assignment’s scope, and the relationship of their interests to the topics of the course. Continue reading Teaching Writing: Topic Development

Teaching Writing: Revision and Why We Do It

This post is part of a series on Writing Pedagogy.

This post focuses on revision, the stage of the writing process in which we think about ideas and organization, and also a stage of the writing process that my undergraduate students resist engaging in.

For a long time, I was stymied by my undergraduate students’ resistance toward revising their writing. At first, I thought they were being lazy or failing at time management because they clearly must have known how important revision is!

Continue reading Teaching Writing: Revision and Why We Do It

Teaching Writing: Revision Strategies

This post is part of a series on Writing Pedagogy.

This post focuses on revision, the stage of the writing process in which we think about ideas and organization, and also a stage of the writing process that my undergraduate students resist engaging in. (A discussion for another post!)

These strategies can be used in conjunction with one another or separately. Continue reading Teaching Writing: Revision Strategies