National Writing Project

Resource Topics

Teaching Writing - Genre - Nonfiction

Additional Resources

National Newspaper Week and Student Publishing

October 2010
Art Peterson
In celebration of National Newspaper Week, NWP highlights the use of newspapers and other publication sources by NWP teachers, lists articles on using newspapers for teaching, and suggests venues available to young writers and their teachers. More ›

"It Sounds Like Me": Using Creative Nonfiction to Teach College Admissions Essays

April 2010
Jennifer Wells
Jennifer Wells, a teacher-consultant with the Central California Writing Project, describes a process in which she systematically introduces students to creative nonfiction as they craft college admissions essays that detail and reflect on telling experiences from their lives. More ›

Homage to the California Writing Project

January 2010
Marek Breiger
Marek Breiger, a teacher-consultant with the Bay Area Writing Project, describes how since 1982 his experience with the writing project has anchored his belief in the teaching of creative nonfiction and provided strategies to support this teaching. More ›

Purposeful Writing: Genre Study in the Secondary Writing Workshop

January 2009
NWP's For Your Bookshelf audio series talks to Tracy Rosewarne and Rebecca Sipe of the Eastern Michigan Writing Project about their book Purposeful Writing: Genre Study in the Secondary Writing Workshop. More ›

Book Review: Nonfiction Writing: From the Inside Out—Writing Lessons Inspired by Conversations with Leading Authors, by Laura Robb

The Quarterly, 2005
Rus VanWestervelt
Laura Robb's Nonfiction Writing: From the Inside Out redefines the genre of nonfiction writing, encouraging creativity and relevance for both the reader and the writer. More ›

Growing Writers Through Collaboration

The Voice, 2005
Kathy Brody
Brody recounts her fourth grade class's inspired collaboration in writing and illustrating Animalogies: A Collection of Animal Analogies, which won Scholastic's Kids Are Authors contest in 2003 and has been published by Scholastic. More ›

Narrative Writing Works Magic in the ELD Classroom

The Quarterly, 2004
Lisa Ummel-Ingram
Using personal stories as the basis for their projects, Lisa Ummel-Ingram's third-graders created text, storyboards, and art that led to complete books. Ummel-Ingram notes gains in the students' language arts skills and confidence. More ›

Dead or Alive: How Will Your Students' Nonfiction Arrive?

The Quarterly, 2003
Nancy Lilly
Lilly describes how she helps her students recognize that the skills that elevate fiction are the very skills needed to write strong nonfiction, including science writing. More ›

Mining the World of Writing Material

The Quarterly, 2003
Evan Balkan
Describing his work with college students, Evan Balkan offers suggestions for encouraging students to look at their lives for rich writing material and to think critically about the world around them. More ›

Book Review: Is That a Fact? by Tony Stead

The Quarterly, Fall 2002
Kim Douillard
Kim Douillard reviews Is That a Fact? Teaching Nonfiction Writing K-3, praising author Tony Stead for his conviction that primary students can compose a variety of nonfiction texts and for the useful techniques he offers. More ›

Giving Children a Voice and Venue After 9/11

The Voice, September-October 2002
Rus VanWestervelt
Inspired to capture moments and reflections that could be lost forever, VanWestervelt launched the 9/11 Project, which received over 200 student submissions for inclusion in the book September Eleven: Maryland Voices. More ›

Reflections on September 11

The Voice, September-October 2002
Audrey Clarkin
A student writer reflects on how "this unforgettable moment changed the lives of many people, all people, even me." More ›

Student Essay Makes Real-World Connections for Florida Classroom

The Voice, September-October 2002
Art Peterson
Middle school teacher Michael Taylor asked his class to write about the events of September 11 and to then send their papers to the local newspaper, an assignment that landed one of his students on the Oprah show. More ›

Writing to Build Community in a Time of Stress

The Voice, September-October 2002
Sarah Robbins
Robbins describes the work of the program Keeping and Creating American Communities (KCAC), and the writing assignments that a group of middle and high school teachers developed after September 11. More ›

Book Review: Beyond the Writers' Workshop: New Ways to Write Creative Nonfiction by Carol Bly

The Quarterly, Fall 2001
Micheal Thompson
Micheal Thompson reviews Beyond the Writers' Workshop: New Ways to Write Creative Nonfiction by Carol Bly—"a riveting critique of educational group-think methodology" that offers "an energizing and intellectually unified array of ideas for teachers." More ›

We All Have “Lots of Yesterdays”: How Creative Nonfiction Enlivens the Secondary Writing Classroom

The Quarterly, Summer 2001
Meredith Eastburn
High school senior Eastburn introduces a group of middle school students to creative nonfiction, helping them understand that "there's something more to nonfiction than the facts they find in textbooks." 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 ›

Location, Location, Location: A Way into Descriptive Writing

The Quarterly, Fall 1996
Ray Skjelbred
Skjelbred provides strategies to sharpen "location writing," ways to understand the importance of small detail, to choose words for accuracy and sensory impact, to avoid quick subjective judgments about what we see. More ›

Ordinary Lives Illuminated: Writing Oral History

The Quarterly, Winter 1990
Jean Gandesbery
Gandesbery argues that students introduced to oral history writing learn to attend closely to the stories of others, and discover that "ordinary lives" are not ordinary at all. More ›

OP 06. Narrative Knowers, Expository Knowledge: Discourse as Dialectic

National Center for the Study of Writing and Literacy Occasional Paper, 1989
Anne DiPardo
DiPardo explores the schism between narrative and exposition and argues that instruction which fosters a "grand leap" away from narrative into expository prose denies students the development of a complex way of knowing. More ›

© 2023 National Writing Project