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Three Kinds of Writing

The Three Kinds of Writing Go Online


Resources for Middle School and Secondary Teachers

Sponsored by the Western Kentucky University Action Agenda,
the WKU Writing Project, and the WKU Department of English

The purpose of this project was to make available to other teachers examples of prompts, teaching strategies, teaching materials, student work, and commentary in support of various types of writing. Our hope is that teachers will use this as an "idea bank" and examine the material with an eye towards adapting it to their specific needs--or using it as a springboard to their own ideas.


The Three Kinds of Writing . . .

Writing to Learn

Writing to Demonstrate Learning

Authentic Writing

"Writing to Learn" strategies use writing as a means for students to discover and explore what they know--and to learn more in the act of writing.  One of the major precepts of this sort of writing is that thinking and writing are inextricably linked.  The audience for such writing is the authors themselves. 

Although innovative forms of this kind of writing have appeared relatively recently, the demonstration of learning has long been the primary purpose for which writing has been used in most classrooms.  The audience is generally restricted to a single person--the teacher.  The purpose of this kind of writing is to demonstrate to the teacher what the author knows.  The writing, regardless of specific form, is usually expository prose.

"Authentic Writing" is the only kind of writing appropriate for inclusion in the Writing Portfolio.  Pieces in this category are intended for an audience and purpose beyond the classroom setting, though tied to the content being studied.  Authors make choices about audience, purpose, and form for these pieces based on their interests. 

Materials Materials Materials

Going Online . . .
Project Overview
The majority of this site was constructed by middle school and secondary teachers during a one-week summer institute at Western Kentucky University in 2002.  The original participants also engaged in follow-up activities during the following school year. The goal of the institute was to make examples, commentary, and other resources available to educators and students seeking to develop their own teaching, learning, and writing.  While the institute work is finished, we hope to add material as the opportunity arises. Feel free to share your comments with us by contacting the project director.


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 Last Modified 9/20/18