National Writing Project

Book Review: Strategies for Struggling Writers, by James L. Collins

By: Mary Landis Hutchinson
Publication: The Quarterly, Vol. 21, No. 3
Date: Summer 1999

Summary: Hutchinson concludes that Collins' text will help teachers understand what struggling writers go through and tap into how these writers understand language. But the book is not, as the title suggests, a book of strategies.



[Collins] believes that the recent shift to a writing workshop approach in the classroom has not helped struggling writers because they lack the primary foundation that would allow them to take advantage of this learning environment. In fact, Collins thinks that the process model, with its belief in pulling latent writing abilities out of students, assumes that writing is an acquired proficiency rather than a learned one, and for struggling writers, this is a problem.

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