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National Writing Project Research - An In-depth Look at the Impact and Effectiveness of Writing Instruction in Schools

The National Writing Project (NWP) is a professional development program that focuses on improving the teaching of writing in schools. Over the years, the NWP has conducted extensive research to evaluate the effectiveness of its programs and to identify key findings and recommendations.

One of the key findings from the research conducted by the NWP is that students who participate in their programs show significant improvement in their writing skills. These students demonstrate greater fluency, creativity, and critical thinking abilities compared to their peers who did not participate in the NWP.

Furthermore, the research shows that teachers who have gone through the NWP professional development program become more confident and competent in teaching writing. They gain effective strategies and techniques that they can implement in their classrooms, leading to improved student outcomes.

The NWP research also highlights the importance of creating a supportive writing community within schools. Schools that foster a culture of writing and provide opportunities for students to collaborate, share, and receive feedback on their writing see greater student engagement and achievement in writing.

Based on these key findings, the NWP offers several recommendations for improving the teaching of writing in schools:

  • Invest in professional development: Schools should prioritize professional development for teachers that focuses on effective writing instruction strategies and pedagogy.
  • Create a culture of writing: Schools should promote a positive and supportive writing environment where students feel encouraged to take risks, explore their ideas, and receive constructive feedback.
  • Encourage collaboration: Teachers should provide opportunities for students to collaborate with their peers, both in person and through technology, to develop their writing skills.
  • Incorporate writing across the curriculum: Schools should integrate writing into all subject areas, allowing students to practice and refine their writing skills in various contexts.

By implementing these recommendations, schools can help students become confident and proficient writers, better prepared for future academic and professional success.

National Writing Project Research

The National Writing Project (NWP) is a professional development network that focuses on improving writing instruction in K-12 classrooms across the United States. Through a combination of teacher workshops, research, and collaboration, the NWP works to increase student achievement in the area of writing.

The NWP conducts ongoing research to better understand the impact and effectiveness of their programs. This research has yielded several key findings that highlight the positive outcomes of teacher involvement in the NWP. For example, studies have shown that teachers who participate in NWP programs feel more confident in their ability to teach writing and report using more effective writing instructional practices in their classrooms. Additionally, students of NWP-involved teachers demonstrate improved writing skills and engagement in the writing process.

One of the key findings of NWP research is the importance of teacher leadership and collaboration. The NWP encourages teacher-led professional development and promotes the sharing of best practices among educators. This collaborative approach has been found to be highly effective in improving teacher instruction and promoting student achievement in writing.

The NWP research also emphasizes the significance of ongoing support for teachers. Providing teachers with continuous professional development and mentoring opportunities is essential for their growth as writing instructors. NWP participants report that ongoing support from the organization and their peers plays a critical role in their professional growth and development.

Based on their research findings, the NWP has made several recommendations for policymakers and educators. These recommendations include increasing investment in teacher professional development, providing ongoing support for teachers, and recognizing and rewarding exemplary writing instruction. The NWP also emphasizes the need to integrate writing across the content areas and to ensure that writing instruction is aligned with state standards and assessments.

In conclusion, the National Writing Project research demonstrates the positive impact of teacher involvement in their professional development programs. Through collaborative, teacher-led approaches and ongoing support, the NWP works to enhance writing instruction in K-12 classrooms and ultimately improve student achievement in writing.

Key Findings

  • Collaborative writing leads to improved student outcomes.
  • Providing students with meaningful writing opportunities drives engagement and achievement.
  • Professional development for teachers in writing instruction enhances student outcomes.
  • Student choice and voice in writing assignments fosters motivation and creativity.
  • Individualized feedback and support improve student writing skills.
  • Explicit instruction in writing strategies helps students become more effective writers.
  • Integration of technology in writing instruction enhances student engagement and learning.
  • Writing across the curriculum supports students in developing critical thinking skills.
  • Evaluation of student writing should focus on content, organization, and mechanics.
  • Assessment practices that provide timely and targeted feedback promote student growth.


Based on the research findings, the National Writing Project offers the following recommendations:

1. Invest in professional development: Teachers need ongoing opportunities to improve their teaching practices and stay abreast of the latest research on effective writing instruction. Schools and districts should invest in high-quality professional development programs and workshops that focus on writing pedagogy.

2. Create a supportive writing culture: Schools should create an environment that values and prioritizes writing. This includes celebrating student writing, providing ample time for writing instruction, and integrating writing across the curriculum.

3. Foster collaboration among teachers: Teachers should be encouraged to collaborate and share their best practices for teaching writing. Schools can facilitate collaboration through regular meetings, professional learning communities, and online platforms for sharing resources.

4. Provide access to authentic writing experiences: Students need opportunities to engage in authentic writing experiences beyond the classroom. Schools should create partnerships with community organizations, invite local authors or journalists to speak to students, and encourage participation in writing contests or publishing opportunities.

5. Integrate technology into writing instruction: Technology can enhance student engagement and provide new ways for students to express themselves through writing. Schools should provide access to digital tools and platforms that support writing, such as word processing software, online writing communities, and digital storytelling tools.

6. Assess writing holistically: Standardized tests that focus on grammar and mechanics alone cannot provide a comprehensive picture of a student's writing abilities. Schools should use a variety of assessment methods, including portfolios and performance-based tasks, to evaluate students' writing skills across a range of genres and purposes.

7. Support struggling writers: Schools should provide targeted intervention and support for students who are struggling with writing. This might include individualized instruction, small-group interventions, or access to additional resources and supports.

In conclusion, implementing these recommendations can help improve writing instruction and promote the development of strong writing skills among students. By investing in teachers' professional development, creating a supportive writing culture, fostering collaboration, providing authentic writing experiences, integrating technology, assessing writing holistically, and supporting struggling writers, schools can create an environment that nurtures and celebrates the writing process.