Making the Writing Process Work


Making the Writing Process Work: Strategies for Composition and Self-Regulation
Karen R. Harris and Steve Graham, University of Maryland

ISBN: 0-914797-77-8, 1992, paper, $24.95

This book is unique among the current books on writing in two important ways. First, especially for students who have difficulty organizing their thoughts and producing well-developed writing, the specific strategies help them learn how to approach, organize and produce written products. A specific sequence of steps within a strategy makes the production process clearer and enables them to organize their thoughts and their written output.
For the more accomplished writer, this book adds another unique dimension. Procedures to help the student become self-regulating as a writer–to manage the process so a quality product emerges–are interwoven in the strategy teaching process. Both approaches help students focus on the elements of the writing task as part of a whole language approach. The open ended process of the whole-language approach encourages a free wheeling thinking process; the strategies presented in this book help each student focus these thoughts toward the writing task, and to self-critically ensure the highest quality product! Verbatim accounts of teachers use of the strategies are included with examples in changes in students writing as they master the steps presented within a strategy. A chapter on how to evaluate the effectiveness of the classroom writing program, and “The Trick of It”–tips for introducing and supporting writing strategies–conclude the book.

“What can we do to help the beginning writer, the unmotivated student, the learning disabled student or poor writer? The answer is to carefully read, apply, and implement the guidelines offered in this book. Both Harris and Graham have hands-on experience in teaching writing skills. … They provide a detailed, practical, ‘doable’ descriptive set of teaching guidelines, exercises, and examples.”
Professor Donald Meichenbaum, University of Waterloo, Ontario

ISBN: 0-914797-77-8, 1992, paper, $24.95

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