Definition of Theory

  • Dr. Douglas Reeves calls nonfiction writing one of the most powerful practices that impacts student achievement in the classroom. HIs 90-90-90 study outlines how non-fiction writing can improve writing for all students, particularly ELLS and  students from poverty. In addition, research from the Carnegie Report, Writing Next, further reinforces the powerful impact writing can have in the classroom. It outlines eleven elements of writing instruction supported by research which can help students improve writing and reading across the curriculum
  • Writing strategies should involve teaching students strategies for planning, revising, and editing their compositions
  • Teach summarization to help students understand text
  • Use collaborative writing to help students plan, draft, revise, and edit their compositions
  • Set specific, reachable product goals for the writing students are to complete
  • Use word processors as instructional supports for writing assignments
  • Teach sentence combining to help students construct more complex, sophisticated sentences
  •  Use prewriting to engage students in activities designed to help them generate or organize ideas for their composition
  • Engage students in analyzing immediate concrete data to help them develop ideas and content for a particular writing task
  • Use a process writing approach to interweave a number of writing instructional activities in a workshop environment and stress extended writing opportunities, writing for authentic audiences, personalized instruction, and cycles of writing
  • Study models to provide students with opportunities to read, analyze, and emulate good writing
  • Write in content area classes using writing as a tool for learning challenging textual material


Freeing Students from the Straightjacket of the Five Paragraph Essay: Campbell, Kimberly Hill Marshall Memo April 2014

Six Keys to Improving Student's Writing: Kettle, Penny. Marshall Memo April 2014

How to Get Students Writing Well: Jago, Carol Marshall Memo April 2014

Making Parents Partners in Developing Their Children's Writing:Ehrenworth, Mary  Marshell Memo April 2014

Assessing Maryland 4th & 5th Grader's Analytical Writing Skills: Correnh, Matsumura, Hamilton and Wang. Marshall Memo March 2013

The Kind of Writing That the Common Core Demands Smith, Wilhelm, & Frederickson, Marshall Memo May 2013

Writing Assessment: The Whys, Whats, and Hows by Natalie G. Olinghouse: University of Connecticut presented 2011 CTL Research to Practice Conference

Helping Students Write Persuasive Essays & The Importance of High-Quality Writing Prompts: Graham, Hawken, Kiuhara & Crosson, Matusmura, Correnti, and Arlotta-Guerrero Marshall Memo March 2012

Six Literacy Experiences Children Should Have Every Day: Richard Alllington & Rachael Gabriel Marshall Memo March 2012