Re: Why kids can't write

Subject: Re: Why kids can't write
From: Jim Grey <jwg -at- ACD4 -dot- ACD -dot- COM>
Date: Thu, 18 Aug 1994 10:54:07 -0500

Faith Weber tutored English students:
>When she showed me
>the essays she'd written, it was clear that no one had taught her
>anything about the structure of an essay (introduce your thesis, provide
>supporting points, end with a conclusion). Her ideas were fine, and her
>grammar was fine, but her essays weren't organized properly.

>During my only tutoring session with her, I explained how an essay
>should be organized, and her eyes lit up. She'd thought her writing
>was bad, college was too much for her, etc., when in fact this was a
>problem she could easily fix. When she came to me, she was getting all
>C's and D's on her papers. The paper she did after our session earned
>an A and she never came back for more tutoring.

This is my chief complaint about high-school writing instruction: So
very few teachers actually tell people *how* to do the various kinds of

When I was a freshman in high school, my English class spent the *whole year*
learning how to write essays. We buried ourselves in _The_Lively_Art_of_
Writing_ by Lucille Vaughn Payne, and within the year, we all cranked out
acceptable essays. I *still* use Payne's basic essay form regularly. I wish
every other English class would have done something similar, with other kinds
of writing.

jim grey |"Ain't nothin' better in the world, you know
jwg -at- acd4 -dot- acd -dot- com |Than lyin' in the sun, listenin' to the radio" - Lighthouse
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|ACD, Terre Haute, IN -- The Silicon Cornfield

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