Review ~ Writing to CommunicateFour stars – if you’re new to teaching writing, are trying to institute writing-across-the-curriculum programs at your school, or just want to quickly find practical lesson ideas, these books are right for you.
Designed for intermediate level students, these books are plainly written with a lot of sound and timeless good sense about clear writing. Engaging and illustrated with scores of telling examples, these plainspoken how-to books identify those qualities that most typically distinguish good writing from bad and provide practical measures for avoiding common pitfalls.
Some key tips given in the books are: do’s and don’ts for achieving concision, clarity, and flow; pointers on using punctuation; writing gracefully; citing sources; and structuring essay writing. There are tons of lessons and assignments here that you can use in class from the day you get the book as the lessons are very straightforward and easy to use. Each writing strand has its own chapter divided into a set of lessons that help you teach any of the major writing genres, including persuasive essays, literary essay, narratives, instructions and reports. The chapters of Writing to Communicate 2 are: The Organization of Paragraphs, Characteristics of Good Writing, The Writing Process, and From Paragraph to Essay, The Thesis Statement, The Introductory Paragraph, The Concluding Paragraph, Body Paragraphs, Process, Classification, Persuasion, Comparison and Contrast, Bringing It All Together. Writing to Communicate 3 includes: The Writing Process, The Cause and Effect Essay, The Problem and Solution Essay, Summarizing and Responding, Responding To A Travel Story: Using Quotations, Two Sides of an Issue: Responding, The First Draft, Doing Research, Revising and Editing, Bringing It All Together.
These books surpass their predecessors in both content and usefulness. Boardman and Frydenberg summarize current research on writing, explain and illustrate each trait, provide numerous student samples and lesson ideas, and lists mentor texts for each trait. But they don’t stop there! They include answer books, and student-friendly scoring guides, all ready to use.
Writing to Communicate 2 and 3 are guides that never fail to remind readers why good writing matters so much in the first place. They are full of practical ideas, simply and clearly presented, that a busy teacher can immediately use in a classroom. The only reason I am giving these books four instead of five stars is that there’s not a whole lot of new information here – anyone who’s been teaching intermediate writing for a while will have heard most of this stuff 100 times already. If, however, you’re new to teaching writing, are trying to institute writing-across-the-curriculum programs at your school, or just quickly want to find practical lesson ideas, then these books are right for you.
January 2010 | Filed under Skills: Writing
Department of English Education, Hannam University, Daejeon, South Korea
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