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The Writer's Way: A Process-To-Product Approach to Writing

In the past several decades, our understanding of writing and the teaching of writing has drastically changed. First, the large and growing body of theory and research in such fields as cognitive and developmental psychology, linguistics, learning theory, language acquisition, discourse analysis, reading, writing, semantics and rhetoric, have shifted our focus from the final “product’ to the “processes” which produce it. Still other studies have made us aware of how professional writers compose. Consequently, much of this research has led to a reappraisal of classroom teaching methods.

This book, therefore, is based on the philosophical shift from a traditional “product-centered” approach to a process-to-product model. The text is written directly to the student-writer. As they write selected personal/expressive, academic, and real world pieces, students gain experience in all phases of the composing process, from rehearsal and brainstorming through rough, revised, and edited drafts to proofread polished final drafts.

From the Back Cover
Program’s Features:

Helps students understand and practice the basic composing process. Includes strategies and practice in: generating ideas and planning, rough and revised drafts, instructor and peer-group editing, and polished final drafts.

Students apply composing process to real-world and academic writing. Instructors and students can choose from personal essay, character sketch, fable, expository article, editorial argument, business letters, literary response and research paper.

Through short one-n-one writing conferences instructors suggest selected practice exercises in structure, style, voice and mechanics. Teaches grammar, mechanics and usage on a need-to-know basis. The book also contains a comprehensive checklist and handbook for easy reference.

In addition the program offers an optional classroom management and point-based grading procedure designed for evaluating process writing.

Selected Reviews and Comments

“As a teacher I have learned more about teaching writing from the Burhans-Steinberg text than all the courses I’ve taken. I have adapted its principle features in public school courses I’ve taught: sociology, history, multi-media, and seventh grade elementary classrooms….my students are enthusiastic about the text. Their evaluations emphasize that they’ve never learned as much, nor improved their writing, reading and critical skills in other composition courses.” Marybeth C. Tessmer, Delta College.

The Writer’s Way has proven the most significant and positive change in our department’s approach to freshman composition initiated in the 18 years I’ve been here. A dozen of us are using it and adapting it to our own designs. It’s my feeling that we are at long last accomplishing something measurable in the teaching of composition.” Walter Lockwood, Grand Rapids Junior College

The Writer’s Way asks students to adopt various roles such as: editor, reader, interlocutor, and writer. I believe a writing course should contain all of the above and more. The Writer’s Way offers these qualities to English teachers. I know it greatly assists me in meeting my course goals.” Joseph Toth, Jr. University of Pittsburgh

“…In long written evaluations, students maintained again and again that they had enjoyed the course. A writing course. A writing course made up largely of non-writers. And they not only claimed that they had learned something, but one could see the pleasure they experienced from being able to write on their own, not perform an exercise because that’s ‘what the teacher wants’…. The Writer’s Way frees the teacher from time-consuming aspect of ‘correcting’ and ‘grading’ 100 themes per week (and wondering why) so that he can concentrate his energies on teaching the elements of writing and directing the energies of his students toward more effective learning ….it also guides the student, step-by-step away from that dependence on the instructor, so that in the end he/she becomes a self-motivated worker and writer, not someone playing the Academic Confidence game year after year. This last is the most rewarding part of all.” -- Dr. Courtney Johnson, Michigan State University