An Introduction to the Action Plan: Breaking Up with the Traditional Research Paper

Image via Pixabay If you found yourself clicking on this article, you probably don’t need a lecture on why the traditional “research paper” is problematic and downright painful to teach.  My biggest reason for wanting to ditch it?  The lack of passion.  The lack of passion students have about writing it, the lack of passion […]

Books that Move Us: Pointless: An English Teacher’s Guide to More Meaningful Grading by Sarah Zerwin

If you’ve read any of my posts this year, you might notice a theme: I feel like I am constantly referencing Sarah Zerwin’s Pointless, which I read over the summer.  I ordered it immediately upon reading the title, thinking, This is great!  Maybe it will give me ideas for reducing the time I spend assessing […]

The Heightened “Sense” of Publication: Only in Your Area, Part II

Image via Pixabay They say when you turn off one of your senses, one or more of the others gets stronger. That’s what I love about teaching writing.  The endlessness of possibilities for process means you get to start all over each time.  Each time is an opportunity to focus on one of the “senses” […]

Informative Writing, Travel Article Style: Only in Your Area, Part I

There are units you enjoy teaching, and then there are units you really enjoy because you have a personal attachment or connection with the content.  And the best part is when it comes seemingly out of nowhere— like the unit just finds you.  In the midst of everything that is going wrong in 2020, I […]

5 Tips for Encouraging Meaningful Reflection in the Writing Classroom

In my last post, I introduced my goal for the school year: to be more deliberate about having students engage in meaningful reflection throughout every step of the writing process.  As I have been working toward this goal, I have found that encouraging the type of deep reflection that we want students to do requires […]

Books That Move Us: They Say/I Say: Moves that Matter in Academic Writing by Cathy Birkenstein and Gerald Graff

How many essays have you written for academic purposes? It is likely that if you are reading this, you have a minimum of a bachelor’s degree.  Let’s say that while earning said bachelor’s degree, you took an average of 5 classes in the fall semester and 5 classes in the spring semester for 4 years.  […]

A Slam Dunk: How a Basketball Metaphor Led My Writers to Better Revision

Image via pixabay.com. Scaffolding. This is exactly what I had on my mind on the eve of a busy day this semester.  I had spent the first quarter of the school year working intensely to give my senior honors students as much commentary on their writing as possible.  Along with conferring with them verbally during […]