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How Writing Instruction, Interventions, and Assessment Can Improve Student Outcomes

May 13, 2015
By Tanya Santangelo, Arcadia University Steve Graham, Arizona State University
An examination of four questions middle grades educators might ask about effective writing instruction and assessment.

By Tanya Santangelo, Arcadia University
Steve Graham, Arizona State University

Writing does not automatically enhance students’ learning. To be effective, content area writing activities need to be thoughtfully constructed, explicitly taught, and appropriately supported.

There are research-based principles and practices related to writing instruction that middle grades teachers can use to help improve student outcomes. Many strategies can be used school-wide to help all students learn to use writing as a tool for learning, communication, and self-expression. Others are designed to provide students who struggle with writing the additional support they need. Together, these recommendations will help students develop the writing skills they need not only for success in middle and high school, but also for post-secondary education, future careers, and civic life.

This paper examines four questions middle grades educators might ask about effective writing instruction and assessment.