Writing Instruction Gone Wrong?

By Bryan Toporek — July 20, 2009 1 min read
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Mr. McNamar grapples with the question of how to teach English effectively in his blog, The Daily Grind. He bravely declares his shortcomings, detailing his perceived inability to help a student with still-developing writing skills.

Writing instruction continues to be a weakness in my skill set. I have great confidence that I can take a student who writes well, and guide them towards truly effective writing — or what I call refinement. Taking a student whose skills are still in the development stage and moving them towards a higher level of communication, that's where I struggle. I can point out a student's weakness, but I don't know where to begin the instruction... I thought, I can't mark up every error and provide an alternative, can I? That's where I struggle. What type of feedback on an essay is appropriate and more importantly, helpful.

What do you think? Is there a “correct” way to teach writing? What advice would you give to Mr. McNamar?

A version of this news article first appeared in the Blogboard blog.