Topic: National Council of Teachers of English (NCTE) Guidelines for the Teaching of Writing
10-second review: Most of the major points in these guidelines are common sense. Some are arguable. But the guidelines give the teachers of writing some issues to discuss, to agree with or to disagree with.
Title: “NCTE Beliefs about the Teaching of Writing.” Writing Study Group of the NCTE Executive Committee. November 2004.
1. Writing can be taught. [We might not be able to teach artistic genius, but we can teach expository writing. RayS.]
2. People learn to write by writing.
3. Writing is a process . [–and a product. RayS.]
4. Writing is a tool for thinking.
5. Writing has purpose. [And an audience. RayS.]
6. Conventions of language are important to readers and therefore to writers. Readers expect correct spelling, capitalization, usage and punctuation. It is important that writing for the public be “correct.”
7. Writing and reading are related. “People who read a lot have a much easier time getting better at writing.”
8. Writing has a complex relationship to talk. [Writing as one speaks might be a good way to begin to learn to write, but educated students must learn to write in degrees of formality. The less formal, the more reader-friendly and conversational is the writing. The more formal, the more concise. RayS.]
9. Writing formats differ: “Even within academic settings, the characteristics of good writing vary among disciplines: what counts as a successful lab report…differs from a successful history paper, essay exam, or literary interpretation.” […legal brief, business report, executive summary, etc. RayS.]
Comment: I think these guidelines offer some good discussion points. RayS.