National Writing Project

Culture of Collaboration: The Writing Project's Role Across the Segments

By: Deborah Lapp
Date: January 27, 2010

Summary: Teacher-consultant Deborah Lapp describes the benefits of an across-the-curriculum writing project–facilitated workshop as high school teachers and facilitators collaboratively examine ways to transition writers from high school to college.



Not wanting to be perceived as a know-it-all college instructor, I asked the teachers to bring samples of student writing, examine it with department-based groups, and report to me their students' strengths and what they thought their students need. The spokeswoman for the science department stood up when it was her turn and said, "What we need is a template, a way to tell the students exactly where the words go." Heads across the whole library lobby nodded, "And spelling," said someone from social science. "Their spelling is atrocious." I took a deep breath. "We can explore a variety of structures for addressing different tasks—different purposes for different audiences," I ventured evasively. More nodding heads."

Copyright © 2009 California English. Reprinted with permission.
Lapp, Deborah. 2009. "Culture of Collaboration: The Writing Project's Role across the Segments." California English 15 (2): 21–22.

Read more California English articles on the California Writing Project.

About the Author Deborah Lapp is an English instructor and honors program coordinator at Reedley College in rural Fresno County, California. A former high school English teacher, she is studying the transition from high school to college writing.

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