Rethinking College Writing Instruction

Monthly archive for March 2016

Letter from a teacher in Singapore

Dear John, I’m a high school English teacher from Singapore. I read your post about using concrete nouns in writing in The Atlantic. It sounds like a great idea, but I’m a bit at a loss as to how to actually teach students to do that. Could you give some […]

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“I don’t have any good ideas.”

Instructors often hear this question. Which is more important, the ideas or the words? Or sometimes, Which comes first, the ideas or the words? How do you answer that question? The conventional idea is that you get some good ideas, and then you write them down in good clear language. […]

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Student samples

For extraordinary claims, extraordinary evidence is needed.  I attach here nine student paragraphs and papers that show what students do from the earlier weeks of the course to the later. These are mostly papers from the top part of the curve, with a few exceptions for comparison. Even the D […]

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John G. Maguire
307 Market Street, #306
Lowell MA 01852