Writing Information

  • "Writing is the litmus paper of thought...the very center of schooling." - Ted Sizer

    "Writing is essential to learning.  One cannot be educated and yet unable to communicate one's ideas in written form." - Richard Paul and Linda Elder, The International Critical Thinking, Reading & Writing Test: How to Assess Close Reading and Substantive Writing

    From the Alabama State Department of Education: The ability to write logical arguments based on substantive claims, sound reasoning, and relevant evidence is a cornerstone of critical writing, with opinion writing (a basic form of argument) extending down into the earliest grades. 

    Student research (both short focused projects such as those commonly required in the workplace and longer term in-depth research) is emphasized since a written analysis and presentation of findings is a critical skill for students to master. 

    *adapted from Alabama State Dept. of Ed.

Quick-Write Strategy

  • A Quick-Write is a literacy strategy which can be used in any content area to develop writing fluency, to build the habit of reflection into a learning experience, and to informally assess student thinking. 

    The strategy asks learners to respond in 2–10 minutes to an open-ended question or prompt posed by the teacher.

    This writing assignment can be used at the beginning, middle, or end of a lesson. For example, students are asked to write about what they learned, problems they encountered, what they liked (or did not like) about the lesson, questions they may have and about how well they understood the concepts. In content teaching, the integration of reading and writing reinforces meaning construction as both activities use similar processing skills.

1000 Quick Writing Ideas

Modes of Writing

  • Writing types (argument/opinion, informative/explanatory, narrative) are modes of discourse that writers and speakers use to organize and communicate their thinking. Each type acts like a lens through which a writer presents content in specific ways to a reader.

    For example, an argument about climate change presents the topic differently than an informational report. Writers construct compositions employing a mode’s elements (e.g. structure, language, logic) to achieve an effect based on purpose and audience.

    Conversely, readers use knowledge of text types to help them follow a writer’s line of thought and purpose.