Businesses tackling the challenges of poor writing can get useful advice and tips from a recent study in Reading Teacher Journal. It explored contemporary views of what makes writing good and examined various perspectives mostly from teachers and professional writers.
Teachers, it explained, need to have a clear idea of what constitutes good writing to access student’s work, teach mini-lessons and respond to students in writing conferences. Teachers’ subjectivity of student writing is inevitable because teachers are responding from their different perspectives, so their evaluations will vary.
In the study Chicago-area teachers, education majors training to become teachers and professionally published writers answered questions and ranked their responses, including a set of statements, based on how much they “most agree” or “most disagree.” The rankings were analyzed and grouped. Ultimately, three perspectives on good writing stood out:
- Good thinking and communication
- Structure and clarity
- Purpose, voice and correctness
The researchers analyzed how teachers’ different writing criteria left students frustrated. One suggestion called for classroom teachers to meet and devise a consensus on what makes writing good. They also advised creating writing rubrics. Writing rubrics establish objectives to meet a goal.
Businesses can do the same. Try gathering department heads in a meeting, determine what is good writing and create a writing rubric. A writing style guide, if it isn’t already written, can include the rubric and the consensus of good writing. Department heads can even gather their staff and create a rubric for their areas.
Photo Credit: Carlos Porto