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Informational Essay

Developing effective writing skills that demonstrate a distinctive style requires utilizing a

variety of strategies actively and simultaneously. The writing process can seem daunting and

intimating to emerging writers. Fortunately, there are interventions and supporting strategies that

students, teachers, parents, and other community members can use to create writing experiences

that are authentic and meaningful. With the support of teachers and families, students can

discover the value of writing. This informational essay discusses several writing strategies that

encourage young writers to take ownership over their writing skills and learning.

Finding and maintaining motivation is crucial throughout the writing process. According

to Assaf and Johnson (2014), teachers can help motivate students by giving students

opportunities to learn through discovery and experiences of problem solving. This instructional

strategy can lead to purposeful writing that is authentic and valuable to the student. Writing to a

real audience can also be very motivating for students because it is an opportunity to share their

experiences and ideas with others. According to Camacho and Alves (2017), parental

involvement during the writing process can positively impact a child’s writing development and

motivation. Positive parental feedback and praise encourages students to share their writing

experiences through writing, and influences a positive attitude about literacy. When students

find value in writing, this attitude promotes engagement and motivation throughout the writing

process.

Teachers play an immeasurable role in shaping a student’s writing development. Since

teachers hold this incredible responsibility, it is important that teachers actively reflect on their

instructional strategies and continues to advance through professional development. According

to Kaplan (2009), teachers can also participate in professional learning communities that offer
support of best practices and collaboration among other teachers. Two effective strategies for

supporting young writers that Assaf and Johnson (2014) discuss are the Spiral Model –

continuously building upon prior knowledge, and deep scaffolding – pre-planning to meet the

student’s needs and incorporating appropriate adaptations. Teachers can implement a variety of

instructional strategies that support their students’ writing development.

Reflection encourages teachers and students to think critically about areas of strength and

areas where improvement is needed. Tomkins (2008) discusses the importance of actively and

deliberately monitoring and self-regulating throughout the writing process. Teachers and

students both benefit from using reflective strategies. Teachers, who reflect on their instructional

strategies, can gain an understanding of when scaffolding is appropriate. A decrease in support

allows the students to take on more responsibility and ownership over their writing. Modeling

writing strategies also helps students monitor and self-regulate writing development. Modeling

strategies include think aloud, modeling, and guided practices. Effective reflection encourages

both the teacher and the student to improve continually.

Writing involves many simultaneous cognitive and physical processes. The writing

process is a continuous cycle of finding motivation, using writing strategies, and reflecting

deeply upon the development. Students, teachers, families, and other community members can

collaboratively create a positive attitude about writing. The people that surround young writers

are also important components that influence and shape a young writer’s successful achievement

of effective and meaningful writing. There are endless resources, strategies, and support that are

available for students and teachers to help encourage positive growth.


References

Assaf, L.C. & Johnson. J. (2014). A call for action: engaging in purposeful, real-world writing.

National Council for Teachers of English: Voices from the Middle, 21(3), 24-33.

Retrieved from

https://libproxy.library.unt.edu:2165/docview/1506897862/fulltextPDF/7003B1AF4B544

C5PQ/1?accountid=7113

Camacho, A., & Alves, R.A. (2017). Fostering parental involvement in writing: development

and testing of the program cultivating writing. Spring Science+Business Media:

University of Porto Department of Psychology, 30(2), 253-277. Retrieve from

https://libproxy.library.unt.edu:2261/content/pdf/10.1007%2Fs11145-016-9672-6.pdf

Kaplan, J.S. (2009). The national writing project: creating a professional learning

community that supports the teaching of writing. Theory in Practice, 47(4), 336-344.

Retrieved from

https://libproxy.library.unt.edu:2186/doi/pdf/10.1080/00405840802329391?needAccess=

true

Tomkins, G.E. (2008). Developing Strategic Writers. Teaching Writing: Balancing Process

and Product (6th Ed.)(32-55). Upper Saddle River, NJ: Pearson/Merrill Prentice Hall.