Timed Essay Writing and the Value of Checklists

What I love about writing is that you usually have the chance to form and tweak ideas through multiple revisions. Unlike real-time conversations, you can carefully choose your words and delete mistakes. You can also reorder ideas into a more logical sequence. Some of these opportunities for improvement are taken away from us when we’re…

How Not to Overwhelm Students with Homework Assignments

Over the weekend I received e-mail from a student who requested help with a writing assignment. Well, that wouldn’t be anything remarkable if the student were registered in a course I was teaching. The problem is that the student was referring to a task assigned by another teacher…in a school that’s located an ocean away….

Second-hand Writing: Maximizing the usefulness of a writing activity

I hope the title caught your attention, but perhaps it’s also caused some confusion. Let me explain. I’d like to consider the possibility of using student compositions as the basis for other activities. It’s similar to a craftsman building something from recycled materials. Compositions that have been thoroughly revised and already graded could be used…