kitchen table math, the sequel: Learning more about 'Writing to the Point' - Kerrigan's approach to writing instruction

Friday, November 18, 2011

Learning more about 'Writing to the Point' - Kerrigan's approach to writing instruction

I first learned about the William J. Kerrigan's Writing to the Point from Catherine.  She had high praise for this book on writing instruction, calling it "brilliant" and attracting my attention with this.
I'm pretty sure a parent can use Kerrigan's book to turn any writing assignment into an OK assignment or even good one.
After years of letting the book collect dust on a shelf, I finally decided to read it and learn the Kerrigan method in detail.  I'm almost halfway through this project, becoming more convinced with each assignment that this approach would work for many students who struggle with writing.  The precision and clarity of the Kerrigan method is refreshing, especially after observing so many different variations on writing instruction that often appeared confusing and distracting.  (Venn diagrams, cloud-charts, math journals and three-page rubrics - I'm looking at you.)

I'm blogging about my journey through Writing to the Point over at Cost of College, and here are the first three installments.

The Kerrigan method of ‘Writing to the Point’
Step 3 of the Kerrigan method of ‘Writing to the Point’

Step 4 of the Kerrigan method of ‘Writing to the Point’ – being SPECIFIC

I welcome any feedback from KTM readers as I stumble along in my project, hoping to learn more about effective writing instruction and to improve my own writing.


Catherine Johnson said...

I'm so excited you're doing this!

I'm using X-1-2-3 in my college comp classes, but I haven't figured out a way to use steps 4, 5, & 6 effectively.

I've also found a couple of fantastic books that I think are in the mold of Kerrigan but are informed by "functional linguistics" which is fantastically helpful.

Will let everyone know the titles & results.

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This writing method is the best writing method I have ever seen. Early in my career, I came to grips with the realization that not everyone wanted to be an English major in college, nor for that matter, even liked to write essays. However, if students simply follow this "formula" that is clear and logically organized, they can be successful writers in spite of their aversion to required composition in high school and college.