A Formula for Failure: The Problem with Formulaic Writing

As many writing teachers are aware, a power struggle exists today between standardized test writing and authentic writing, and this struggle threatens to disempower our students on a daily basis.

Teachers, Profs, Parents: Writers Who Care

By Alex Kameen

As many writing teachers are aware, a power struggle exists today between standardized test writing and authentic writing, and this struggle threatens to disempower our students on a daily basis. Realized primarily through the pressures placed on teachers to prepare students for standardized tests, the impact of this struggle exists equally on a practical, theoretical, and political level.

Plainly put–young writers are getting ripped off, and we must find ways to change that.

Prepping for Tests: The Invention of Writing Formulas

One of the most widespread techniques for writing instruction that disempowers students on a daily basis is the teaching of writing formulas. As a teacher myself, I have used formulas persistently throughout my career to combat the pressures presented by standardized testing, but the more I employ them…the more troubled I feel towards their ultimate impact on students.

For example, in preparation for standardized…

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