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A Writer Teaches Writing Revised

4.21  ·  Rating details ·  131 ratings  ·  17 reviews
A landmark book on the teaching of writing, Donald M. Murray's A WRITER TEACHES WRITING has had a profound influence on composition theory and practice.
Paperback, 265 pages
Published March 3rd 2003 by Cengage Learning (first published January 1st 1968)
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4.21  · 
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 ·  131 ratings  ·  17 reviews


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Ryan
Jun 12, 2011 rated it liked it
"How can I help my students to improve their writing?"

This is a question that I think many readers will bring to A Writer Teaches Writing. Unfortunately, perhaps realistically, but certainly honestly, Murray responds that he has yet to see a single model that eclipses all others. So here, he simply shares things that worked for him while teaching composition to university students.

Some of these strategies may surprise common readers. Everyone believes that because they went to school, they know
...more
Meaghan Odell
Aug 16, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Love this man. Love this work. Every teacher of writing should own a copy.
Lorie
Jul 10, 2008 marked it as to-read
Proof that I'm a nerd: I just got this in the mail and I can't wait to read it!
Dominic
I'm known for my crushes on English teacher gurus, and stumbling upon Donald Murray's hard-to-find (out-of-print for long stretches) masterpiece in my favourite used book shop has re-ignited my passion for his revolutionary but no-nonsense approach to teaching in the Workshop classroom. I had to restrain myself from sending out quotes on my Instagram account every few pages or so the entire way through. There is so much wisdom here, so many great reminders, and ultimately a powerful case for "ge ...more
Kristin Stoner
Nov 25, 2012 rated it it was amazing
This book was a welcomed pep-talk for this worn-down teacher of college composition. Murray weaves a perfect tapestry of comfort and confidence through a combination of support and inspiration. As I read, I was validated in some of my methods and philosophies, but also felt as though I was learning some new valuable outlooks and activities.

This would be the perfect text for the beginning writing teacher, especially those who have now bank of self-confidence from which to make a withdraw.
Jeff
Aug 13, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Don Murray was my mentor and writing coach when I was a student at UNH, and so I may be a bit biased in my review. Still, as a 25-year veteran of the English classroom, I still rely on his books to help me frame those parts of my literature classes that must focus on writing. Don always made writing seem and feel as natural and available as breathing, and I STRONGLY recommend this book and the others on my shelf to any English teacher just starting out.
Thomas Reilly
Mar 08, 2019 rated it liked it
I bought this thinking that it had more information for writers. Turns out it is really directed at teachers of writing. This is the second Murray book I have read and found a great deal of redundancy and at times contradiction, which he points out reflects his evolution. His advice boils down to, "Writing is a process. Just write and learn as you go."
Heather
Feb 18, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Constant go-to for Writer's Workshop. Have three paper copies and an ecopy.
Brian Kelley
Jul 20, 2011 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: pawlp-library
When immersed in reading about writing and the teaching of writing, the real McCoy stands out prominently. This book, clear about its focus from the beginning, is page after page after page of how anyone can transform their classroom into a writing classroom: activities, lessons, adjustments in classroom expectations or procedures, and even how to assess and comment. This is the book where you can access something easily and know that it is steeped in research and practice.

The meaty final few ch
...more
Mary
Jul 20, 2011 rated it it was amazing
I think this book is probably closest to my own teaching philosophy—treat student work as seriously as possible and help them to achieve habits that would be useful in a variety of situations. My main criticisms are that perhaps Murray is teaching his students not to write like writers, but to write like journalists. There can be disciplinary differences in the writing process. My second hesitation is that allowing students to work in any genre would encourage them to slip towards the forms with ...more
Scott Lee
Jun 12, 2011 rated it really liked it
Murray makes a convincing argument for the true composition course even at the high school level.

What was striking to me, not only as an English teacher, but as an English teacher instituting a composition curriculum at the High School level in place of a literature based English course, was his emphasis on the mental preparation that precedes putting pen to paper. Murray argues adroitly for the necessity of seeing, writing from abundance (meaning an abundance of concrete details be those sense
...more
Simon Workman
Aug 16, 2010 rated it really liked it
Somewhat difficult to get through, but once i got about halfway through I was glad I had to read it. An invaluable book for anyone that is going to teach writing, it answers many of the questions I had and many I didn't know that I had. A little dry and dense, but full of great ideas and strategies.
Christine Fay
May 27, 2015 rated it really liked it
Shelves: non-fiction
This How-To book offers effective strategies in teaching from the Expressivist Pedagogy of writing theory. The students’ writing is considered the main text for this course, and he details how to get students to offer feedback to each other, as well as how to hold writing conferences with individual writers to get at their own individual truths.
Cindy Skaggs
Jan 07, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: nonfiction
Continues to be one of the best texts to inspire writing teachers.
Jamie
Jul 08, 2011 rated it it was amazing
Fantastic read! This books provides great ideas to take into the classroom and references to multiple resources for teaching writing.
Kathy
Dec 30, 2010 rated it really liked it
Many great ideas. I share many of Murray's views on teaching writing and was able to get many ideas for ways to improve the teaching (and learning!) of writing in my classes.
Shannon
Nov 21, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Very helpful!
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