7 Things Improve Writing

Last Update: Jun 9, 2022

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As a content marketer, much of my work involves writing; I found seven things to improve writing. I've always assumed that writing ability is something you either have or don't and can't improve much over time. After some research, I changed my mind.

Since 2001, we've had the power to edit our own mistakes as soon as we made them. But before that, we all learned how to write. Editing your work can be just as important as creating it in the first place, but when you first know how to write well, it's something you have to permit yourself to do.

Covering Writing

Covering Writing (WAW) is a technique or theory training composition that emphasizes writing studies research. Covering Writing methods for first-year composition takes many forms, typically in line with the rationale that students benefit from the "declarative and procedural understanding" of writing studies research.

Composition isn't broadly acknowledged as its very own discipline. Composition instructors make an effort to educate students on being better authors. As public perception frequently shapes public policy, this naive look at composition as a legitimate field of study has led to too little funding and focus on composition classes in academia.

In 2007, Douglas Downs and Elizabeth Wardle printed articles entitled "Teaching about Writing, Righting Misconceptions" that proposed a reform of first-year composition instruction in line with the outcomes of an evaluation course they developed.

Writing Program

This program explored "to enhance students' knowledge of writing, rhetoric, language, and literacy" and promoted a look at studying and writing as scholarly inquiry, encouraging "more realistic conceptions of writing." The content is regarded as revolutionary by other scholars within the field, frequently reported by individuals who've ongoing the job in developing WAW approaches.

Within the article, Downs and Wardle deny the presence of a universal educated discourse, which conflicts with first-year composition goals of preparing students to create over the curriculum. Downs and Wardle write that teaching students over the curriculum support the concept that "writing isn't a real subject, that writing courses don't require expert instructors, and that rhetoric and composition aren't genuine research areas or legitimate intellectual pursuits."

The content outlines the program they designed centered on teaching the scholars about "writing studies" instead of attending college. The authors discuss readers, research assignments, reflective assignments, and presentation assignments before starting with report situation studies of two students who required Downs' and Wardle's WAW-centered first-year composition course.

While they were various kinds of students who had different learning outcomes, both tales illustrate the flexible nature of WAW and how this kind, of course, could be tailored to individual student needs. The authors discuss several advantages of utilizing WAW to educate first-year composition. They also indicate the challenges connected with teaching this sort of course and address these two challenges in addition to critiques caused by colleagues.

The authors conclude that implementing WAW-centered classes in first-year composition professionalizes writing instruction and raises awareness about writing studies as a legitimate discipline. Downs and Wardle write, "instead of purporting to educate students' academic writing' and organizing them for writing within their disciplines, the program teaches students what we should like a field have discovered about writing being an object of study." The purpose of a WAW course would be to demonstrate how writing works.

Teaching Writing

After its publication, the content caused a stir in academia and received lots of response in the community, prompting a follow-up article by Wardle in 2008 entitled "Ongoing the Dialogue: Follow-up Comments on 'Teaching about Writing."

Misconceptions.'" Inside it, Wardle addresses responders who commented that they and Downs focused on first-year composition inside the field by explaining that first-year composition shouldn't hold more quality than other branches inside their area. Still, it's worth focusing on and merits scholarly inquiry.

She reaffirms their primary point "that people should reconceive the character of FYC goals and concentrate on the content understanding we've like a field that students may benefit from." She proceeds to write, "Allow me to be as obvious as you possibly can: Doug and I are quarreling that composition instructors should separate understanding about writing from practice on paper and a few instructions regarding how to complete the writing tasks."

Another misconception she addresses is misconstruing an initial-year writing WAW approach, just like an opening course to some writing major, and dismissing the claims that the WAW approach is set up to recruit writing majors. She explains that the variations between these courses are general audience and purpose. Downs and Wardle expanded and have created an associated textbook, Covering Writing: A University Readers, printed this year.

In "Teaching About Writing, Righting Misconceptions," Downs and Wardle discuss several advantages they found WAW affords students, including WAW asks students to see about writing and other processes, which enables them to identify the things that work on their behalf. By studying articles that the composition studies student might read, the first-year composition student can further understand the continuing conversation focused on writing.

Covering Writing in Fundamental Writing

In her essay, "Covering Writing in Fundamental Writing," Shannon Carter explains, "a writing-about-writing approach foregrounds research on paper and related studies by asking students to see and discuss key research within the discipline and lead towards the scholarly conversation themselves." She explains that getting students immerse themselves in this kind of scholarship won't enhance their writing.

However, their knowledge of writing being an academic discipline increases too, which alters the general public perception that writing is just something that's a few other disciplines. Students will also benefit from many WAW instructors because they can better understand composition studies with their class, promoting parallel learning. In an article entitled "Seeing is Believing: Writing Studies with 'Basic Writing' Students," Charlton reports that some value teaching first-year composition from the cultural studies approach because it permits composition instructors to educate the things they love. But the kinds of studying promote critical thinking and analysis—two goals many first-year composition courses have.

Also, the content reports on several instructors incorporating graduate-level writing-studies readings into their first-year writing courses with much success. Charlton writes, "Students were engaged and were developing research questions and projects that rivaled my senior-level composition theory class, both when it comes to complexity and overall quality of finished products."

Writing Is Fundamental

As WAW is a pretty recent movement and it is continuing to develop, proponents don't always agree with how WAW should be relevant to the classroom. Carter highlights that instructors only consider a small area of the composition community, so disagreement is typical and "frequently in fundamental ways."

In the reaction to Downs and Wardle's "Teaching About Writing, Righting Misconceptions," Joshua P. Kutney argues that supplying students with an understanding of writing through WAW will not always transfer to their writing performance. He compares WAW to students taking courses that raise their knowledge of social problems. While students obtain a more incredible feeling of these problems with these courses, rarely will they display behavior changes when it comes to these problems.

Kutney also argues that the elevated understanding of writing studies may make students feel at ease with validating their insufficiencies. Like an author simply because they now recognize the downsides expert authors have, and never simply because they now comprehend "the how to go about the creating process." He proceeds to state that while Downs and Wardle discuss WAW as allowing students to determine academic writing as participating in a continuing conversation, this understanding might overwhelm a student and lead them to avoid participating in the discussion altogether.

Kutney writes, "While First-Year Composition might not do much to build up the writing abilities of scholars. Downs and Wardle offer pointless to consider that Summary of Writing Studies, a training course that doesn't purport to educate writing, will do more."

Within their reaction to Downs and Wardle, Miles et al. claim a WAW approach appears to enjoy it can serve as introducing a writing major, which wouldn't be advantageous to first-year students. They take problem with Downs and Wardle's "dismissal of the significance of teaching situated procedural understanding," most notably the rhetorical situation.

Miles et al. claim the only real rhetorical problem a WAW course exposes its students to is scholarly research. Additionally, Downs and Wardle focused on first-year composition within the concept of writing studies, seeing it as the predominant branch of the field.

Further, Downs and Wardle neglect to give voice to the students in their situation study who did not take advantage of the WAW approach; only individuals who did are highlighted. Another primary critique is WAW's reliance upon one modality of research writing because their "research and scholarship is an interesting hybrid of countless modalities at the same time."

Downs printed an answer to Miles et al. by which he expresses displeasure in the arguments the authors organized: My first response to Miles et al.'s reaction to "FYC as Intro to Writing Studies" is all about their response as generous - that's, not remotely. This disappoints me since I keep up with the ideal of scholarship in which a constructive dialectic stretches, shapes, and builds ideas instead of tearing them lower.

I confess my first instinct would be to tear lower Miles et al.'s response because they make an effort to pull lower the construct we forwarded. (Earning the condemnation of the entire department is bracing-and ironic once the scholarship of a few of the signatories - for me personally, Schwegler and Shamoon - grown seeds of ideas they find unworkable.

He writes that Miles et al. "appear to deal with us as sitting at the kids' table at Thanksgiving dinner." His primary contentions are: He concludes by writing, "Thx not just for that chance to reply but to possess something to reply to. And That I question how differently our students might understand writing when they had similar possibilities."

An answer to Downs' reaction to Miles et al. by Slomp and Sargent does not reject Downs and Wardle's ideas in the same manner Miles et al. do but requires more research around the WAW method. The authors also reason that Downs and Wardle neglect to position themselves in a continuing conversation in the same manner they advocate for in WAW.

Slomp and Sargent state that Downs and Wardle paint themselves as "lone pioneers" within this venture; however, in the 1990s, Wendy Bishop supported using writing because it is the primary subject within the writing classroom. Additionally, Peter Elbow referred to somebody who discussed similar suggestions to WAW lengthy before Downs and Wardle printed "Teaching about Writing, Righting Misconceptions."

While a proponent of WAW, Shannon Carter describes how it is not always available to other instructors or policymakers. She explains how WAW could be "off-putting" to other people and that the scholarship about them can't be trusted to make changes to the composition curriculum. She explains that although WAW could be effective for many, it's just one method to approach teaching composition and will not use everyone's teaching style.

As formerly pointed out, many think that since professionals for professionals compile the readings, undergraduates won't be able to comprehend the concepts, which will negatively affect engagement using the course. Incidents questioned Downs and Wardle's motives and found WAW to be a ploy in "recruiting" more students to get majors in the field.

Printed this year, Downs and Wardle's book is referred to as "encouraging students to attract on which they are fully aware to be able to lead to ongoing conversations about writing and literacy."

Within the preface, instructors Downs and Wardle describe their frustration with composition courses based on styles that have nothing related to writing. They list several reasons why WAW is a "smart choice" when it comes to a technique for teaching first-year composition: It addresses several questions to enhance the student's understanding of multiple aspects of writing:

  • Why study writing?
  • How can readers read and authors write?
  • How can you write?
  • How have you ended up being the readers and author you're today?
  • How can communities shape writing?
  • How can you be heard as a college author?

A combination of selected readings from scholars, authors, and students is supplied, and various activities and discussion questions are connected using the lessons.

Below are the readings incorporated into the paper about Writing: A University Readers: It is recognized because of its ease of access and forward-thinking. For example, David R. Russell from Iowa Condition College is "a milestone in composition textbooks." Russell is renowned for his operation in Writing Over the Curriculum and activity theory.

Its publisher's website describes it, "Through the book, friendly explanations and scaffolded questions help students connect with readings and — much more important — develop understanding about writing they can use at the office, within their everyday lives, and in college."

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Recent Comments


Just about midnight in Vietnam and this is great so this is my first read tomorrow morning.

Hello Stephen, I find it so fascinating to have a conversation around the world in a fraction of a second. I hope you are doing well!

Wow, Kevin, a lot to digest here, and Academic's discussion concerning writing admittedly bore me to tears, but there might be others that may agree with some of the arguments presented. As for me, I just write--daily, and early and often. It truly is not rocket science.

I think that many of us as we write daily, tend to get better as we write more and more!

I always love how you do present an array of facts for us to ponder though!

Have an excellent day!


Hello Jeffery, If I gave you something to think about or created a spark, I did my job! As always, I hope you are doing well!

You always do, Kevin, so yes, you have done your job, my friend!



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