Why Include Direct Instruction in the Writing Process?

Oct 14 2009

Why Include Direct Instruction in the Writing Process?

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  • “The writing process is a complex matter; it varies for each writer, on each writing occasion. The differences in individual learning styles make writing a very different task for each writer. So it’s hard to generalize about teaching techniques that ‘improve’ the writing process. Probably the best we can do is to help students develop a repertoire of strategies to use in writing and to help them learn when and where the strategies work best for them.”

Josephine Koster Tarvers & Cindy Moore, “Intervening in the Writing Process,”

Teaching in Progress: Theories, Practices, and Scenarios, 3rd Edition, p. 99

  • “Applying rigid rules, studying grammar or composition topics, or reading works of literature does not improve student writing. How wonderful if good writing could be reduced to a recipe. Students would just put the necessary ingredients together and have a readable paper. Instruction in the process-oriented classroom is different…. The process approach recognizes that writing is a very personal activity in numerous respects, which means not only that there are many behaviors that are not universal but also that there is variation within the universals.”

James D. Williams, Preparing to Teach Writing: Research, Theory, and Practice, 3rd Edition, p. 101

  • “We know that the act of composing through writing is a complex process…. We cannot say that there is one composing process invariably successful for all writers, for all purposes. Rather, we know that composing processes vary both as the same writer attempts different kinds of discourse and as different writers attempt the same kind of discourse, and that such variations may be necessary to success in composing…. Learning to write requires writing. Students cannot be expected to master such complex processes if they only practice them two or three times in a school term, or without a teacher’s guidance.”

Patricia Bizzell, “Composing Processes: An Overview,”

The Allyn and Bacon Sourcebook for College Writing Teachers, pp. 123-124

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