Elements of Effective Writing Instruction

Instructor: Derek Hughes
Writing instruction can often be a time-consuming, tedious task. However, it is an incredibly important skill that all students must learn. This lesson will detail the elements of effective writing instruction that will hopefully make teaching writing exciting and engaging for all.

Writing Instruction

You may not realize, but learning to write was one of the most important skills you learned during your time in school. You may have groaned at the idea of writing another paragraph about Spring, complained when you had to write an essay about Harriet Tubman, or hated those 8 page papers you wrote for your college classes. However, knowing how to write effectively is an incredibly useful skill no matter where life takes you.

Writing instruction is the process through which students are taught how to write, from how to correctly use punctuation to how to structure an essay. There are several key elements to effective writing instruction detailed in this lesson that will help you become an amazing, engaging writing teacher.


You might wish that your students could just pick up a pencil and put it to paper and write, but there has to be some direct instruction involved. If you want your students to focus on a new skill that they need to incorporate into their writing, you should always model it first so they know what it should look like.

For example, if you are going to have your students working on a descriptive paragraph, it will be helpful to write a short descriptive paragraph together, as a whole class. That way, students can see the process that goes into constructing that kind of writing. When modeling, you should always think aloud so your students can hear the thought processes you are going through.

Keep in mind, modeling is only the very first step in writing instruction. Even though you modeled what you want students to write doesn't mean they are going to do it perfectly on their first attempt. That is where the next few elements of effective instruction come in.

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