Best Tip Ever for Teaching Writers


A-plus gradeEvery writing teacher in the world knows how to spot errors. The experienced ones zero in on them like heat-seeking missiles and leave puddles of red ink behind. That’s fine. You can’t help a young writer without pointing out where he’s gone wrong. And young writers typically go wrong often.

But, honestly, finding writing mistakes is easy. What’s more difficult–what only the really excellent writing coaches do with excellence and consistency–is finding what the students have done well.

Doesn’t it make sense to point those things out too? Don’t assume a student knows that that phrase has a nice ring, or that verb captures the idea just right. Pointing out what works can be just as helpful as pointing out what doesn’t.

And it’s certainly more pleasant.

About the Author

Brian WaskoBrian is the founder and president of One of his passions is to teach young people how to write better.View all posts by Brian Wasko

  1. Mark

    So true. It is important to find what is written well by a young writer. It encourages them to write and also helps them find their voice.

  2. Sean Thomas
    Sean Thomas02-25-2011

    Great point! It’s so much more motivating to me to hear where I got it right, than to just hear all the mistakes I am making. Keep these tips coming. Awesome stuff.

  3. Kathy

    I absolutely agree! Focus on what they have done well first and then find one or two things to correct at a time.

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