Writing Instruction Gone Wrong?

By Bryan Toporek — July 20, 2009 1 min read

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.