How Writing Works: Imposing Organizational Structure Within the Writing Process

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Written by award winning, critically acclaimed author, Gloria Houston, this long-awaited text uses a totally new concept in teaching writing by focusing onlearning to write in the real world, not the world of literary writing, using content materials from the entire curriculum. Groundbreaking in the teaching of writing, this text provides instruction in the use of visual organizers to understand how each piece of writing works, supporting its effectiveness with research data and theory from a wide array of fields.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780205366767
  • Publisher: Pearson
  • Publication date: 10/9/2003
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Pages: 288
  • Product dimensions: 6.80 (w) x 9.10 (h) x 0.80 (d)

Table of Contents

A Personal Note.


Can Writing Be Taught.

Writing as a Synthesis Activity.

Thinking About Writing at the Most Abstract Levels.

Understanding the Organizational Structures That Make Writing Work.

Purpose Determines the Organizationsl Structures of Written Discourse.

Expressive Writing, the Jellyfish Purpose.

The Formal Purposes Intended for a General Audience.

Using the Power of the Human Visual Memory to Improve Writing.

Something to Write About.

Using the Micro Skills of Writing.

1. The Elements of a Successful Writing Classroom.

The Macro or Global View.

The Objective: Student Success for Every Young Learner Writer.

A Shared Vocabulary to Create Success.

Consistency in the Vocabulary of Instruction and Testing.

Confusion Between Narrataive and Story.

The Vocabulary of References to Students and Their Attributes.

The Vocabularies of Grammar and Usage.

The Time Necessary for Success through Refinement.

Time for Mastery of Skills and Content.

The Young Learner/Writer.

The Elements of Direct Writing Instruction.

Using Content to Learn to Write and Using Writing to Learn Content.

The Elements of Indirect Instruction: Process & Refinement.

The Coach/Teacher/Mentor/Role Model.

The Classroom: The Atmosphere.

Physical Arrangements.

Thinking Globally About the Successful Writing Classroom.

2. The Learner/Writer: The Person Who Writes.

The Student as Expert.

Multiculturalism/Cultural Diversity.

The Multicultural Nature of Every Student.

Speech Patterns as Diversity Issues.

What the Learner Brings Impacts the Writing Experience.

Teachers Guide Learners by Starting with What They Know.

The Registers of Usage.

3. Expository Writing: The Process Analysis.

The Role of Direct Instruction in the Writing Process.

Expository Writing: The Process Analysis.

Learning How a Process Analysis Works.

The Lesson Plan.

Process Analysis in Published Books.

Other Application of the Process Analysis Organizational Structure.

Teaching One Process Used in Almost Every Classroom.

Other Possibilities for Learning Through Writing a Process Analysis.

Demonstrating a Process Analysis in Math Class.

Writing as a Testing Tool in Math Class.

Turning Cross-Curriculum Activities into Writing Process Analysis.

Teaching Usage: Verb Tense in a Process Analysis.

4. The Narrative Structures: Narrative, Story & Narraative Essay.

Teaching Writing Through Narrative and Story.

The Vocabulary of Narrative and Story.

Visual Organizers for the Elements of Story and Story Structure.

The Lesson Plans.

Analyzing Story and Narrative Structurally.

Yes, Plot Is a Variant of Narrative, But It Is Not the Same Structure.

My Great-Aunt Arizona Structural Analysis and Expansion.

The Itsy Bitsy Spider Is a Narrative.

The Year of the Perfect Christmas Tree Structural Analysis.

Turning a Family Event into a Narrative or Story—An Author's Point of View.

Assessment of Narrative and Stories.

5. The Descriptive Structures.

Teaching Writing Through Description.

The Lesson Plans.

Analyzing Physical Description Structurally.

6. Expository Writing: The Expository Structures.

Expository Writing.

Simple Expository Structure.

The Lesson Plan.

Applications of the Simple Expository Structure Across the Curriculum.

Published Works Using the Strategy.

Expository Writing: Structures for Comparing and Contrasting.

Expository Writing: Cause/Effect Structures.

The Problem/Solution Structure.

7. Persuasive Writing: The Persuasive Structures.

The Lesson Plans.

Lesson 1: Simple Persuasive Structure.

Lesson 2: Persuasive Structure with a Process Analysis for Support.

Lesson 3: Persuasive Comparison Contrast Structures.

Lesson 4: Persuasive Structures That Use Narrative or Story as Supports.

Lesson 5: Supporting the Thesis.

8. Learning to Manipulate and Mold Written Discourse.

Indirect Instruction.

Molding Written Discourse.

Determining Task, Purpose, Structure, Audience and Point of View.


Purpose and Structure.

The Audience.

Point of View.

9. Understanding Revision by Making Changes in TPAP.

Changing the Task.

Changing the Purpose.

Changing the Audience.

Changing the Point of View.

Analyzing an Earlier Piece of Learner-Written Discourse.

Changing from Third Person Point of View to Third Person in Literature Class.

Using Formality of the Task to Select an Appropriate Point of View.

10. Writing to Learn and Learning to Write.


Journals as Learning Tools.

Writing to Learn Content.

11. Guiding Learner/Writers Through the Writing Process.

Defining the Process.

Clustering as an Organizational Strategy.

Using Popcorn as a Catalyst for the Writing Process.

Writing a Popcorn Poem.

Guiding Writers Through Other Projects to Take Them Through the Process.

12. Cosmetic Issues and Optimum Readability.

The Cosmetic Aspects of Writing.

Standard Punctuation.

Standardized Spelling.

Spell Checker.




13. Beyond Instruction: Assessment.


Plain or Colored Manila Folders as Portfolios.

Other Values of the Writing Portfolio.

14. Turning a Family Event into Narrative or Story.

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