Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Resource Book Review: A Writer Teaches Writing

A Writer Teaches Writing: A Complete RevisionA Writer Teaches Writing: A Complete Revision by Donald Morison Murray

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

When immersed in reading about writing and the teaching of writing, the real McCoy stands out prominently. This book, clear about its focus from the beginning, is page after page after page of how anyone can transform their classroom into a writing classroom: activities, lessons, adjustments in classroom expectations or procedures, and even how to assess and comment. This is the book where you can access something easily and know that it is steeped in research and practice.

The meaty final few chapters may be of particular interest to you as they address three universal circumstances: problem writers, answers to questions you may ask yourself, and answers to questions others may ask you.

Some of the issues Murray addresses in these chapters are: the student who doesn't care; the student who can't spell, punctuate and aint got not grammar;the student who demands the formula; the student who simply loves to write--and write and write;should I accept papers from other courses; should I share my writing with my students; when do you teach grammar; what is the relationship between reading and writing; and does this work only in a creative writing course? And there are many more.

In addition to answering many of the questions teachers have, Murray also provides a very strong chapter on conference techniques for the teacher. This is worth the price of the book itself.

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