Read A Writer Teaches Writing Revised by Donald M. Murray Online


A landmark text on the teaching of writing, Donald M. Murray's A WRITER TEACHES WRITING has had a profound influence on composition theory and practice....

Title : A Writer Teaches Writing Revised
Author :
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ISBN : 9780759398290
Format Type : Paperback
Number of Pages : 265 Pages
Status : Available For Download
Last checked : 21 Minutes ago!

A Writer Teaches Writing Revised Reviews

  • Ryan
    2019-01-19 08:07

    "How can I help my students to improve their writing?"This is a question that I think many readers will bring to A Writer Teaches Writing. Unfortunately, perhaps realistically, but certainly honestly, Murray responds that he has yet to see a single model that eclipses all others. So here, he simply shares things that worked for him while teaching composition to university students.Some of these strategies may surprise common readers. Everyone believes that because they went to school, they know how writing is taught. However, there are actually more models, strategies and debates over this topic than the lay person might expect.And be warned: this is not a book that is going to settle those disputes.This lack can be frustrating when we search for what is often called the "silver bullet," or a golden strategy that all schools should adopt. I think there is also room for frustration if readers were looking to Murray for irrefutable evidence that his strategies should be used. Perhaps he is too much a writer to allow that there is one way to teach (or learn) writing, but I think he would say that this is simply what he has observed.Still, if a teacher likes Murray's strategies, but their administrator demands others, the best "researched defense" this book offers is: "Well, Donald Morison Murray explains in A Writer Teaches Writing Revised that these strategies worked for him, but that he also acknowledges that other strategies can work just as well!" It's certainly not a very scientific or authoritative argument, let alone a statistic (statistics being the strongest evidence in today's discussions of anything). Of course, this is not to say his experiences or observations lack validity or authority.Murray's ideas were first published decades ago and regardless of whether you're convinced of trickle-down economics, trickle-down pedagogy happens. I was surprised to find how much of Murray's work I'd picked up in my training, by observing other teachers, and by reading education blogs.Perhaps my favorite approach listed here was the use of teacher-student conferences. Briefly explained, this approach invites the student to comment on their writing goals, which is surprisingly different from receiving feedback or writing about our writing goals. Try it some time, as a writer or as a teacher of writing. It may be effective, but it is not necessarily efficient, and Murray notes that it loses power as class sizes rise above 20 students / teacher, a ratio that is becoming uncommon in these difficult times.Perhaps the biggest surprise for me was Murray's discussion of "leads." He suggests that many writers struggle to start an essay if they don't have the right lead. He confesses that he will sometimes write a hundred leads before finding the correct one, after which time his entire draft will naturally spill out. What surprised me is that this is true for me as well. Although I will usually map out my thoughts and gather evidence before writing a goodreads review, I'll often struggle to write anything until I suddenly find the correct lead. I'll then write 500 words in a few minutes.Perhaps the weakest part of A Writer Teaches Writing is Murray's discussion of word processors as a useful new tool for writers.Ultimately, I am glad to have read A Writer Teaches Writing Revised. I would not go out of my way to recommend it to others, but I would not hesitate to encourage someone on the fence to pick it up either. I will certainly return to it for pointers and reminders the next time I do conferences.

  • Lorie
    2019-02-07 13:18

    Proof that I'm a nerd: I just got this in the mail and I can't wait to read it!

  • Jeff
    2019-01-26 12:58

    Don Murray was my mentor and writing coach when I was a student at UNH, and so I may be a bit biased in my review. Still, as a 25-year veteran of the English classroom, I still rely on his books to help me frame those parts of my literature classes that must focus on writing. Don always made writing seem and feel as natural and available as breathing, and I STRONGLY recommend this book and the others on my shelf to any English teacher just starting out.

  • Heather
    2019-02-07 14:16

    Constant go-to for Writer's Workshop. Have three paper copies and an ecopy.

  • Brian Kelley
    2019-02-12 13:56

    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.

  • Mary
    2019-01-30 10:20

    I think this book is probably closest to my own teaching philosophy—treat student work as seriously as possible and help them to achieve habits that would be useful in a variety of situations. My main criticisms are that perhaps Murray is teaching his students not to write like writers, but to write like journalists. There can be disciplinary differences in the writing process. My second hesitation is that allowing students to work in any genre would encourage them to slip towards the forms with which they’re most comfortable rather than try new things. That being said, no book I’ve read before this has made me so eager to write and eager to read. I love the idea that teachers should be writers—as Murray points out this is the case in almost any other practicing art in the university. And while there are real rules and consequences, I like the idea of training students to the unspoken expectations of an accept or a reject.

  • Scott Lee
    2019-02-07 11:57

    Murray makes a convincing argument for the true composition course even at the high school level. What was striking to me, not only as an English teacher, but as an English teacher instituting a composition curriculum at the High School level in place of a literature based English course, was his emphasis on the mental preparation that precedes putting pen to paper. Murray argues adroitly for the necessity of seeing, writing from abundance (meaning an abundance of concrete details be those sense impressions and specific memories, research, or invention), and being certain that you have something to say so as to settle as many problems as possible before putting pen to page.My new challenge having encountered this wonderful book is to align it with what I like of my further research this summer: especially Elbow's Writing Without Teachers.

  • Kristin Stoner
    2019-01-21 13:08

    This book was a welcomed pep-talk for this worn-down teacher of college composition. Murray weaves a perfect tapestry of comfort and confidence through a combination of support and inspiration. As I read, I was validated in some of my methods and philosophies, but also felt as though I was learning some new valuable outlooks and activities. This would be the perfect text for the beginning writing teacher, especially those who have now bank of self-confidence from which to make a withdraw.

  • Simon Workman
    2019-01-24 08:12

    Somewhat difficult to get through, but once i got about halfway through I was glad I had to read it. An invaluable book for anyone that is going to teach writing, it answers many of the questions I had and many I didn't know that I had. A little dry and dense, but full of great ideas and strategies.

  • Christine Fay
    2019-01-26 11:58

    This How-To book offers effective strategies in teaching from the Expressivist Pedagogy of writing theory. The students’ writing is considered the main text for this course, and he details how to get students to offer feedback to each other, as well as how to hold writing conferences with individual writers to get at their own individual truths.

  • Cindy Skaggs
    2019-01-20 07:02

    Continues to be one of the best texts to inspire writing teachers.

  • Jamie
    2019-01-22 09:58

    Fantastic read! This books provides great ideas to take into the classroom and references to multiple resources for teaching writing.

  • Kathy
    2019-01-29 13:59

    Many great ideas. I share many of Murray's views on teaching writing and was able to get many ideas for ways to improve the teaching (and learning!) of writing in my classes.

  • Shannon
    2019-02-15 12:54

    Very helpful!