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When Writers Read

By Jane Hansen

When writers read, they evaluate all the time. They can't help it. But they can become better at it, and that's what this second edition of When Writers Read is about: what students can do to become better evaluators of themselves as writers and readers, and how you can help. Extensively revised, the second edition is organized around five concepts that are central to an effective writing-reading program.
  • Voices: When writers read, they listen for a strong author voice; they know they can hear their own when they write and assume other authors' voices come through as well. It's essential that all voices, both those of students and professional writers, be honored and supported by an evaluation system dedicated to this notion.
  • Decisions: When writers read, they make decisions, so it's only natural that they look for evidence of the decisions other authors make. To become effective writers and readers, students must learn to make decisions about which types of writing to create, what to write and read about, where to work, when to do so, whom to share their work with, and what to do to become better writers and readers.
  • Time: When writers read, they read and read and read. One of your primary responsibilities as their teacher is to provide plenty of opportunities for them to do so and create an overall framework in which students spend their time wisely.
  • Response: When writers read, they look for a message. Students need to understand that to respond effectively to other writers, they should listen closely and think appreciatively and critically about the author.
  • Self-discipline: When writers read, it's their self-discipline that keeps them engaged. By providing plenty of good books, writing possibilities, and self-evaluation opportunities, you can help ensure your students are self-disciplined and eager.

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When writers read, they evaluate all the time. They can't help it. But they can become better at it, and that's what this second edition of When Writers Read is about: what students can do to become better evaluators of themselves as writers and readers, and how you can help. Extensively revised, the second edition is organized around five concepts that are central to an effective writing-reading program.
  • Voices: When writers read, they listen for a strong author voice; they know they can hear their own when they write and assume other authors' voices come through as well. It's essential that all voices, both those of students and professional writers, be honored and supported by an evaluation system dedicated to this notion.
  • Decisions: When writers read, they make decisions, so it's only natural that they look for evidence of the decisions other authors make. To become effective writers and readers, students must learn to make decisions about which types of writing to create, what to write and read about, where to work, when to do so, whom to share their work with, and what to do to become better writers and readers.
  • Time: When writers read, they read and read and read. One of your primary responsibilities as their teacher is to provide plenty of opportunities for them to do so and create an overall framework in which students spend their time wisely.
  • Response: When writers read, they look for a message. Students need to understand that to respond effectively to other writers, they should listen closely and think appreciatively and critically about the author.
  • Self-discipline: When writers read, it's their self-discipline that keeps them engaged. By providing plenty of good books, writing possibilities, and self-evaluation opportunities, you can help ensure your students are self-disciplined and eager.

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