It is possible to teach students how to write as a way to make meaning rather than fill pots. The problem is that it’s much more difficult for both student and teacher. For students, it takes a lot longer to get better at writing this way, and the path to improvement is littered with the discouraging wreckage of dysfunctional sentences and incoherent arguments….
Carrying out this kind of teaching calls for concentrating effort at two levels. One is teaching students how to make meaning at the sentence level, using syntax to organise words to say what you want them to say…. The other is teaching students how to make meaning across an entire text, using rhetorical moves that help them structure a compelling argument from beginning to end.
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