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Conversations With Leaders: Principles of Effective Writing Instruction 1

This article is written is by Sharon Zumbrunn, professor in educational psychology and

Keegan Krause, Community Education Specialist at the Southeast Texas Poison Center. The

article is written to answer the question: What principles underlie effective writing instruction?

This question is then answered by seven leading authorities in writing who are Linda Flower,

Steven Graham, Karen Harris, Jerome Harste, George Hillocks, Thomas Newkirk, and Peter

Smagorinsky. The article offers Five Principles of Writing for those who aspire to effectively

teach writing. The first principle is effective writing instructors realize the impact of their own

writing beliefs, experiences, and practices. Second, effective writing instruction encourages

student motivation and engagement. Third, effective writing instruction begins with clear and

deliberate planning, but is also flexible. Fourth, effective writing instruction and practice happen

every day. Finally, effective writing instruction is a scaffolded collaboration between teachers

and students. In summary, effective writing instruction has an impact on students every day.

(Zumbrunn & Krause, 2012)

After the five principles have been explored by these seven leading authorities in writing,

the article is concluded by emphasizing the importance of writing and how it is fundamental in

the classroom. The author then presents seven tips for the teacher which are essential and

includes being a good example, being positive, and encouraging.

This argument accurately portrays the value of efficient yet adequate use of writing

instruction. As English teachers, one must understand that writing is fundamental in the

classroom and must be able to deliver instructing it effectively. How the author gives importance

to even the delivery of instruction for writing reminds me of a Biology teacher in JIS who shared

his motivation for teaching his subject so passionately. He says, If you think about it, there is a

reason the students are here. Make it worth their time. In the same way, a writing instructor
Conversations With Leaders: Principles of Effective Writing Instruction 2

must make it worth the students time to learn writing through the capability of the teachers

instruction. With these principles in mind, a teacher must plan meticulously yet leave room for

flexibility. In class, he must set clear objectives in the beginning of class and assist the students

in each step as they write. The teacher must develop a habit to assess himself after each class and

identify what went well and what did not. In this way, the writing instructor will be able to

deliver instructions effectively.

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Zumbrunn, S., & Krause K. (2012). Conversations With Leaders: Principles of Effective

dsafffdsWriting Instruction. The Reading Teacher. Volume 65. 346-353.