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A Report to Carnegie Corporation of New York - WRITING NEXT •

The Carnegie Corporation of New York has issued the report Writing Next which outlines eleven key elements of adolescent writing instruction. Using the statistical method know as meta-analysis, the researchers determined the consistency and strength of instructional practices on student writing quality and highlighted those practices that hold the most promise. They are::

  1. Writing Strategies, which involves teaching students strategies for planning, revising, and editing their compositions
  2. Summarization, which involves explicitly and systematically teaching students how to summarize texts
  3. Collaborative Writing, which uses instructional arrangements in which adolescents work together to plan, draft, revise, and edit their compositions
  4. Specific Product Goals, which assigns students specific, reachable goals for the writing they are to complete
  5. Word Processing, which uses computers and word processors as instructional supports for writing assignments
  6. Sentence Combining, which involves teaching students to construct more complex, sophisticated sentences
  7. Prewriting, which engages students in activities designed to help them generate or organize ideas for their composition
  8. Inquiry Activities, which engages students in analyzing immediate, concrete data to help them develop ideas and content for a particular writing task
  9. Process Writing Approach, which interweaves a number of writing instructional activities in a workshop environment that stresses extended writing opportunities, writing for authenticaudiences, personalized instruction, and cycles of writing
  10. Study of Models, which provides students with opportunities to read, analyze, and emulate models of good writing
  11. Writing for Content Learning, which uses writing as a tool for learning content material

The Writing Next elements do not constitute a full writing curriculum, any more than the Reading Next elements did for reading. However, all of the Writing Next instructional elements have shown clear results for improving students' writing. They can be combined in flexible ways to strengthen adolescents' literacy development. The authors hope that besides providing research-supported information about effective writing instruction for classroom teachers, this report will stimulate discussion and action at policy and research levels, leading to solid improvements in writing instruction in grades 4 to 12 nationwide.

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