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The overarching theme of these three articles is focused on rebranding writing as more
than an academic chore. The authors are intent on not necessarily re-inventing writing itself, but
changing the attitudes and dated approaches to writing that have been commonplace in public
education for decades. Each author teaches writing and recognizes the benefits of reading and
writing for personal development outside the confines of systematic public education.
McAndrew advocates a casual classroom atmosphere in order to allow students to reach
their full potential without fear of failing. He describes the benefits of an atmosphere conducive
to writing, Since the atmosphere is relaxed and comfortable, making risk taking easy, and since
you are writing about topics and in forms that you know about and are interested in, participation
in the life of the class happens naturally. You become an active participant in the construction of
your improvement as a writer, something that participationists tell us is essential to knowledge,
to knowing how to write well. (McAndrew 225) McAndrew recognizes that there can be no
improvement without risk-taking, and in order for a student to take risks they must already be
familiar with the topic they will write about.
Holt emphasizes the importance of writing in order to write. There should be no ulterior
motives when writing besides the improvement of ones writing ability. We learn to write by
writing, not by reading other people's ideas about writing. What most students need above all
else is practice in writing, and particularly in writing about things that matter to them, so that
they will begin to feel the satisfaction that comes from getting important thoughts down in words
and will care about stating these thoughts forcefully and clearly. (Holt 23) Holt believes that
good writing is achieved when the writer is passionate about the subject being communicated. If
there is no passion for the subject, it will clearly manifest itself in the quality of the writing.

Different students are passionate about various topics, this fact should be reflected in the variety
of their writing.
Clark decries the dated practice of using writing as punishment, None of these justifies
the practice. Because there is often little supervision, students are not encouraged to carefully
plan these essays. Students may not be required to consult with teachers, to discuss the issues and
strategies of the essay, to write several drafts, to polish and correct their own work and to share it
with others. When writing becomes punishment, all the positive elements of learningorganization, discovery and communication-disappear. (Clark 5) Clark sees writing as a
valuable education tool that goes beyond communication. When students are conditioned to view
writing as punishment, the positive effects of the writing process are drowned in the dissonance
accompanied by misguided punishment.
Writing is a method of self-discovery, a way of funneling ideas and abstract notions of
thought into written form. My writing is only passionate when I am passionate about the subject.
The three authors and their respective articles cleanly articulate positive thoughts on the benefits
of writing amidst a culture of education bent on consuming writing rather producing. Producing
writing is what allows us to focus our most passionate thoughts into written communication.
Consuming the works of others can help improve our writing skills, but, as Holt emphasizes, the
only way to improve our writing, is in fact, by writing.