SUMMARY: Writing Next: Effective strategies to improve writing

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A report to the Carnegie Corporation of New York in collaboration with the Alliance for Excellent Education, 2007.

Graham, S. & Perin, D. (2007).  Writing Next: Effective strategies to improve writing of adolescents in middle and high schools. New York: Carnegie Corporation.

Recommended: Eleven elements of effective adolescent writing instruction that were  “found to be effective for helping adolescent students learn to write well and to use writing as a tool for learning. It is important to note that all of the elements are supported by rigorous research, but that even when used together, they do not constitute a full writing curriculum.”

These elements were drawn from empirical evidence identified by meta-analysis:

 

1. Writing Strategies (Effect size – 0.82)

– which involves teaching students strategies for planning, revising, and editing their compositions.

 

2. Summarization (Effect size – 0.82)

which involves explicitly and systematically teaching students how to summarise texts.

 

3. Collaborative Writing (Effect size – 0.75)

– which uses instructional arrangements in which adolescents work together to plan, draft, revise, and edit their compositions.

 

4. Specific Product Goals (Effect size – 0.70)

– which assigns students specific, reachable goals for the writing they are to complete.

 

5. Word Processing (Effect size – 0.55)

– which uses computers and word processors as instructional supports for writing assignments.

 

6. Sentence Combining (Effect size – 0.50)

– which involves teaching students to construct more complex, sophisticated sentences.

 

7. Prewriting (0.32)

– which engages students in activities designed to help them generate or organise ideas for their composition.

 

8. Inquiry Activities (0.32)

– which engages students in analyzing immediate, concrete data to help them develop ideas and content for a particular writing task.

 

9. Process Writing Approach (Effect size – 0.32)

– which interweaves a number of writing instructional activities in a workshop environment that stresses extended writing opportunities, writing for authentic audiences, personalized instruction, and cycles of writing.

 

10. Study of Models (Effect size – 0.25)

– which provides students with opportunities to read, analyze, and emulate models of good writing.

 

11. Writing for Content Learning (Effect size – 0.23)

– which uses writing as a tool for learning content material.

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