Encouraging Students to Think Critically About Writing

Instructor: Clio Stearns

Clio has taught education courses at the college level and has a Ph.D. in curriculum and instruction.

When teaching students to write, you will want them to have a critical understanding of the writing process. This lesson gives you some ideas for teaching students to think and work like writers.

Why Critical Thinking?

Lately, Ms. Lane, a seventh-grade language arts teacher, has started to notice that her students' writing seems kind of shallow. Though many of her students are independent writers with a good grasp of mechanics, their writing seems to lack for depth and is not necessarily interesting or meaningful to read. After doing some research, Ms. Lane decides she needs to focus on teaching her students to think critically about writing. In this case, critical thinking does not refer to criticizing but rather to thinking deeply and getting beyond the surface. Critical thinking in the context of writing means thinking about what you really want to say as a writer and how you might best get your ideas apart. It also means engaging with a variety of viewpoints and avoiding general statements. Ms. Lane thinks through ways to encourage her students to think critically about their own writing.

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