National Writing Project

Resource Topics

Teaching Writing - Genre - Academic Writing

Additional Resources

Book Review: Copyright Clarity: How Fair Use Supports Digital Learning

May 2011
Renee Hobbs of Temple University's Media Education Lab identifies copyright issues that will help students use sources in transformative, creative, and legal ways. More ›

Book Review: Rehearsing New Roles: How College Students Develop as Writers

February 2010
David Pulling
David Pulling, a teacher-consultant with the National Writing Project of Acadiana (LA), explains how Rehearsing New Roles changed his view of freshman composition from seeing it as the foundation for becoming a college writer to understanding it as a "point along the way." More ›

Tucson Teacher-Consultants Help Students “Gear Up” for College

February 2010
Art Peterson
Leaders of the Southern Arizona Writing Project have guided much of the thinking in Tucson's GEAR UP program, which aims to prepare students in the city's high-needs schools for postsecondary education. More ›

Book Review: Plagiarism: Why It Happens—How to Prevent It

January 2010
Laura Brownell
Laura Brownell, a teacher-consultant at Red Cedar Writing Project, reviews a book about plagiarism that examines the motivation behind student plagiarism and presents a preventative approach—with an abundance of suggestions and ready-to-use resources—for teachers to use with their students. More ›

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

January 2010
Deborah Lapp
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. More ›

Creating a Culture of Inquiry Through the Use of Model Lessons

January 2010
Suzanne Linebarger
Suzanne Linebarger, associate director of the Northern California Writing Project, describes how the site conducts an inservice program of model lessons that supports collective teacher inquiry into key concepts in teaching reading and writing. More ›

One Approach to Guiding Peer Response

March 2009
Kim Jaxon
Kim Jaxon, a teacher-consultant with the Northern California Writing Project, describes a peer response strategy that, in addition to providing responders with focused guiding questions, allows them adequate time to draft thoughtful responses. More ›

Book Review: Culture, Literacy, and Learning: Taking Bloom in the Midst of the Whirlwind by Carol D. Lee

January 2009
Stephen Gordon
Carol Lee reports on her teaching students to respond to literature in a Chicago public school. She concludes that teachers can succeed if they have knowledge about the language, culture, cognition, motivation, and social/emotional realities of urban students. More ›

Writing in the 21st Century: Crash! The Currency Crisis in American Culture

April 2009
NCTE President-Elect Carol Jago makes an argument for the continuing centrality of the study of literature as a way of "making a life" in an environment where contemplative thinking is in danger of being overwhelmed by practical communication. More ›

Wikipedia: Friend, Not Foe

January 2009
W. Scott Smoot, Darren Crovitz
Kennesaw Mountain Writing Project teacher-consultants Darren Crovitz and W. Scott Smoot teach students to approach Wikipedia not as a source of truth but as a springboard for inquiry. In this article, they describe Wikipedia-based lessons that develop this approach. More ›

The Research Paper: Engaging Students in Academic Writing

March 2008
Cindy Heckenlaible
A teacher of high school freshmen engages her students in writing their research paper—and eliminates plagiarism—by having them write a historical account in first person. More ›

Helping African American Males Reach Their Academic Potential

May 2008
Marlene Carter
Marlene Carter, associate director of the UCLA Writing Project, conducted a two-year study of African American males in her AP English class. The study helped her understand that these students underperform for different reasons and allowed her to focus on the real problems affecting their achievement. More ›

Seeing Academic Writing with a New “I”

January 2007
Rebecca Feldbusch
Students need to make personal connections when they write, maintains Feldbusch. Insisting that they leave themselves out of their writing gives students the message that their own perceptions are not of worth. More ›

One Idea—Many Audiences

May 2007
Ann Dobie
Dobie describes how she transformed a graduate research paper on teaching spelling into an academic conference presentation, a professional development workshop, a journal article, and then a book. More ›

Are You Ready for College Writing?

The Voice, 2005
Mary Ann Smith
This spring seven NWP sites conducted pilot workshops for high school juniors focused on the writing they will encounter in college. And it's not the 5-paragraph essay. More ›

On the Subject of Grafting

The Voice, 2005
Jan Isenhour
As a ninth grade biology student, Jan Isenhour learns what happens when a teacher makes sure a school assignment resonates with a student. More ›

The Five-Paragraph Theme Redux

The Quarterly, 2004
Elizabeth Rorschach
Rorschach argues that the preset format of the five-paragraph essay lulls students into nonthinking conformity. She contends that teachers obsessed by form become fellow conspirators in the triumph of form over content. More ›

Creative Copying, or in Defense of Mimicry

The Quarterly, Fall 2002
Rebecca Dierking
A student question about the difference between plagiarism and mimicry leads Dierking to a deeper understanding of her students' need for clarity. More ›

Talking Texts: Writing Dialogue in the College Composition Classroom

The Quarterly, Spring 2002
John Levine
Is it possible for an inexperienced writer to juggle the ideas of several authors to create a coherent, analytical essay? Levine encourages students to get these writers talking to one another. More ›

"Write for Your Life" Promotes Teen Literacy, Well-Being

The Voice, Fall 1996
Ten NWP sites are involved with this program, which empowers children to create healthier futures for themselves by making their health the focus of their study. More ›

Creating Work of Their Own: Skills and Voice in an Eighth Grade Research Project

The Quarterly, Fall 1996
Robert Roth
Roth argues that if students are to execute successful research projects they need to put their own stamp on their work and also need explicit instruction in the skills necessary to carry out this task. More ›

Revisited article: New Professor Collides with Real Students

The Quarterly, Winter 1995
Frederick Crews
Crews reminisces about his first teaching experience, in which he encountered "bright, agreeable, but wary" freshmen writers and their pointed responses to the assumptions behind his instructions. More ›

TR 59. Constructing a Research Paper: A Study of Students' Goals and Approaches

National Center for the Study of Writing and Literacy Technical Report, 1992
Jennie Nelson
This study of twenty-one college freshmen considers the processes involved in writing an academic research paper in order to determine whether "high-investment" reading and writing processes such as note-taking led to higher-quality papers. More ›

TR 55. Writing from Sources: Authority in Text and Task

National Center for the Study of Writing and Literacy Technical Report, 1991
Stuart Greene
Fifteen undergraduates were asked to write either a report or a problem-based essay, integrating prior knowledge with information from six textual sources. The groups differed significantly in their interpretation and performance of the two tasks. More ›

OP 14. Shirley and the Battle of Agincourt: Why It Is So Hard for Students to Write Persuasive Researched Analyses

National Center for the Study of Writing and Literacy Occasional Paper, 1989
Margaret Kantz
Kantz connects recent research on expository writing with a discussion of common student problems in writing a term paper. More ›

TR 17. Written Rhetorical Syntheses: Processes and Products

National Center for the Study of Writing and Literacy Technical Report, January 1989
Margaret Kantz
Kantz analyzes the composing processes and written products of three undergraduates and gives quantitative analyses of a group of seventeen undergraduate research papers. More ›

TR 16. How the Writing Context Shapes College Students' Strategies for Writing from Sources

National Center for the Study of Writing and Literacy Technical Report, August 1988
John R. Hayes, Jennie Nelson
This study explores processes college students use to write assigned research papers. More ›

Book Review: Searching Writing, by Ken Macrorie

The Quarterly, November 1980
Jerry Herman
The writer recommends Macrorie's text for its "freshness, its good sense, its readability and its subversion of many oafish traditions connected with the school research paper." More ›

Contracting Texts

The Quarterly, March 1979
James Drickey
Drickey explains his technique of "contracting texts," a variation on précis writing, as a way of teaching the clear thinking essential to competent writing. More ›

That's Right. Thirty-Six Hours.

Diane Shaw, Diana Jiménez
Two Merced Area Writing Project teacher-consultants outline the content of their Migrant Summer Young Writers Academy, which had as its goal to motivate and provide direction toward academic success for these mostly English language learners. More ›

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