How to Get Students to Stop Worrying and Learn to Love Writing

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In an earlier post, I discussed why most students tend to not like writing. In short, it is generally because writing is so complex that it maxes out our attention and working memory. Our brains are highly suspicious of anything that hard, and so while writing (or doing any other intense mental activity for that matter) they frequently try to convince us that this is not fun or worth it. Veteran writers have the ability to push past the brain’s protests, but novices often struggle to move past the difficulty and discomfort, and thus that is what writing becomes for them.

The problem with this is that if students view writing as unpleasant, too much work, or not worth the energy, the odds are that they will not be willing to put in the effort to make significant gains. That is why my central objective the first week of class, long┬ábefore I introduce the writing process or semicolons, is to try to get every student on the path to liking or at the very least not actively disliking writing. I have found that nearly any student can learn to love writing, and once they do the pace at which they grow increases exponentially. Continue reading “How to Get Students to Stop Worrying and Learn to Love Writing”