National Writing Project

Resource Topics

Teaching Writing - Audience

Additional Resources

Spotlight on Teen Ink: A Magazine Written by and for Teens

October 2011
Art Peterson
Teen Ink, called "The New Yorker for Teens," is the nation's largest publisher of teen work in print and online. Writing Project teachers and their students have been involved in Teen Ink for years. Students can submit fiction, nonfiction, poetry, book, movie and music reviews, and more. There is no charge to submit or to be published. More ›

Figment Provides Space for Students to Share Writing

September 2011
Katie Robbins, director of educational programming at Figment, an online community where young adults and teens come together to create, discover, and share their own writing and discuss their favorite works, discusses how Figment can be used in the classroom. More ›

826 Reinvents the Writing Center

July 2010
Gavin Tachibana
826 centers across the country have created a different notion of what a writing center is, and partnerships between local Writing Project sites and chapters of 826 National are helping students become better writers, and for some, published authors. More ›

Spotlight on the Alliance for Young Artists and Writers

July 2010
The Alliance for Young Artists and Writers—with the help from Writing Project sites and state networks—works to identify, motivate, and recognize the next generation of artists and writers. More ›

Writing Project Sites Get Involved in The Best Teen Writing

May 2010
Art Peterson
One of the highest honors that teen writers can receive is publication in The Best Teen Writing. Writing Project sites are becoming increasingly involved in evaluating the writing in their region as affiliates of the Alliance for Young Artists and Writers, which publishes the anthology. More ›

Poetry Out Loud Makes Noise in NWP Classrooms

May 2009
Art Peterson
Poetry Out Loud, a program that encourages students to learn about poetry through memorization and performance, holds a competition that has inspired NWP teachers and their students. More ›

Rural Voices Radio Spawns New Series: Calling America

January 2009
Art Peterson
A new audio series by the team that produced Rural Voices Radio features short segments of writing by authors, young and old, from across the nation. More ›

Literacy, ELL, and Digital Storytelling: 21st Century Learning in Action

January 2009
Produced by the Pearson Foundation, this short video documents a semester-long digital writing project led by two Bay Area Writing Project teacher-consultants. The video follows students through the creation of digital stories about their family members' immigration experiences. More ›

Student Press Initiative Motivates Young Authors

July 2009
Gavin Tachibana
Working to turn a broad range of students into published authors, the Student Press Initiative deepens the learning experience for thousands of young writers. More ›

Letters to the Next President: A Real-World Purpose for Student Writing

October 2008
Teachers who participated in the Letters to the Next President project, cosponsored by the NWP and Google, said that their students were motivated by having a real-world purpose for their writing, and the project engaged them in this year’s political process. More ›

Honoring Dialect and Culture: Pathways to Student Success on High-Stakes Writing Assessments

English Journal, March 2007
Michelle Crotteau
When a speaker of Appalachian English fails the state's writing assessment, Michelle Crotteau, a teacher-consultant with the Central Virginia Writing Project, demonstrates that appropriate strategies and respect for home language allows for both authentic writing and successful test preparation. More ›

“I’m a Writer Now!” The Who, Where, and When of an ELL Newspaper

The Quarterly, 2005
Joe Bellino
Bellino, a teacher of English language learners, describes the process of publishing a newspaper written by his students and talks about how this paper has positively affected readers, writers, and the school. More ›

I Can't See You, But I Know You: An Intergenerational Literacy Program

The Quarterly, 2004
Anne DiPardo, Pat Schnack
The authors describe an intergenerational literacy program in which senior-citizen volunteers and eighth-graders engaged in joint literacy activities. More ›

Two or Three Things I Know for Sure About Helping Students Write the Stories of Their Lives

The Quarterly, 2003
Debbie Rotkow
What is authentic writing for first-graders? The author considers this question and describes how she helped students learn to celebrate their lives in poetry and prose. More ›

The Writing on the Walls

The Voice, May-June 2002
Jackie Wesson
Looking for a way to involve the community in their literacy efforts, Jackie Wesson describes how the Mobile Bay Writing Project developed The Writing on the Walls, a weeklong writing fair that celebrates literacy. More ›

The School Yearbook: A Guide to Writing and Teaching

The Voice, May-June 2001
Jon Appleby
The enthusiasm generated by yearbooks, those wonderful annual rituals of writing and sharing, cause one teacher to reflect on how he might ignite that same energy through work in his classroom. More ›

A Cure for Writer's Block: Writing for Real Audiences

The Quarterly, Spring 2000
Anne Rodier
By reconstructing a dialogue with one of her students, Rodier supports her belief that "if your writing has no possibility of . . . reaching a real audience . . ., then there will be no investment in the work." More ›

Staging Learning: The Play's the Thing

The Quarterly, Summer 2000
Jean Hicks, Tim Johnson
The writers describe a method that employs sticky notes to create dramas that give students a voice. More ›

Western Massachusetts WP Finds 'Real' Audiences for Student Writing

The Voice, Winter/Spring 1998
Diana Callahan, Pat Hunter, Charles Moran, Bruce Penniman
Several publication projects sponsored by WMWP involve students and teachers in creating writing for real audiences. More ›

Getting Real: Authenticity in Writing Prompts

The Quarterly, Summer 1997
Patricia Slagle
Teachers often strive to develop exercises in which students write "authentic" pieces for an audience beyond the teacher. Here Slagle demonstrates the next step: sending student writing to people outside the classroom. More ›

The Red and the Black

The Quarterly, Winter 1997
Laurie Bottoms
The writer expresses her enthusiasm for yearbook writing—messages that reflect many types and kinds of writing—as a genre directed at a real audience. More ›

“Our Wal-Mart Is Bigger Than Our Mall”: Writing That Matters

The Quarterly, Summer 1996
Suzanne Styron Edwards
When a newspaper writer identifies the hometown of her students as one of the fifty worst places to live in America, the students respond to him with passionate and successful writing. More ›

Book Review: Exchanging Writing, Exchanging Culture, by S. W. Freedman

The Quarterly, Summer 1995
Marcie Wolfe
This cross-cultural study of the teaching of writing in Great Britain and the United States tells the story of a yearlong writing exchange between the classes of British teachers and American teachers. More ›

TR 46. Plain Language for Expert or Lay Audiences: Designing Text Using Protocol-Aided Revision

National Center for the Study of Writing and Literacy Technical Report, 1991
Karen A. Schriver
This paper argues for a redefinition of plain English and suggests a method for assessing whether or not a text is indeed clear to its intended readership. More ›

Stories Inside Stories: Creating Successful Writers in an Urban High School

The Quarterly, Fall 1990
Judith Baker, Joe Check
Providing a group of urban high school students with the real work of producing a student newspaper allowed them to succeed in new ways as writers. More ›

TR 39. Document Design from 1980 to 1990: Challenges That Remain

National Center for the Study of Writing and Literacy Technical Report, January 1990
Karen A. Schriver
Schriver discusses the recent evolution of document design (the theory and practice of creating comprehensible, usable, and persuasive texts), identifies challenges in integrating research with practice, and suggests a research agenda for document design. More ›

TR 41. Evaluating Text Quality: The Continuum from Text-Focused to Reader-Focused Methods

National Center for the Study of Writing and Literacy Technical Report, March 1990
Karen A. Schriver
Schriver discusses three methods for evaluating text quality: text-focused, expert-judgment-focused, and reader-focused. She concludes that reader-focused approaches offer the best opportunity for detecting problems in a text. More ›

OP 07. The Problem-Solving Processes of Writers and Readers

National Center for the Study of Writing and Literacy Occasional Paper, 1989
Betsey Bowen, Bertram C. Bruce, Linda Flower, Margaret Kantz, Ann M. Penrose, Ann S. Rosebery
The authors focus on writing and reading as forms of problem solving that are shaped by communicative purpose, for example problems incurred in writing for a specific audience or reading to interpret text. More ›

TR 33. Social Context and Socially Constructed Texts: The Initiation of a Graduate Student into a Writing Research Community

National Center for the Study of Writing and Literacy Technical Report, July 1989
John Ackerman, Carol Berkenkotter, Thomas N. Huckin
The authors examine a case-study doctoral student's writing development as he learns how to produce the type of academic prose valued by the professional community. More ›

Exchanging Writing, Exchanging Cultures

The Quarterly, Summer 1989
Sarah Warshauer Freedman
The author describes the results of a cross-cultural exchange of writing between students at urban schools in the San Francisco Bay Area and London. More ›

Real Voices for Real Audiences

The Quarterly, Summer 1989
Joan Kernan Cone
Cone describes how a writing exchange between her students and students in England provided her young writers "a stage to perform on." She recounts how "showing off their ideas and experiences . . . they changed." More ›

The Response Factor

The Quarterly, Summer 1989
Kate Chapman
Chapman evaluates the letter exchange her English students engaged in with their American counterparts as one which developed confidence. "[T]hey found encouragement and acceptance . . . a far cry from the usual red ink." More ›

TR 05. Properties of Spoken and Written Language

National Center for the Study of Writing and Literacy Technical Report, May 1987
Wallace Chafe, Jane Danielewicz
The authors discuss important linguistic features that characterize different types of spoken and written language, from dinner conversations to academic papers. They analyze the reasons for these language differences. More ›

Writing for a Real Audience

The Quarterly, October 1986
Peggy Ammann
Ammann describes how the creation of a "Class Directory" containing articles modeled after those in a local newspaper and written by, for, and about members of her class presents her students with a real writing task. More ›

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