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Developing Writing Skills: Productive, Creative, Original; Transformative, Editorial

Beth Kemp | Monday June 13, 2011

Categories: Hot Entries, Writing, Productive, Creative or Original Writing, Transformative or Editorial Writing, Teaching Ideas & Skills Development

The skills of producing original writing are required in many specifications, particularly for Language and combined Language and Literature courses, and it can be a challenge to vary the presentation and practice of this very skill-focused aspect of English. Some specifications require students to write in different styles, or for different audiences and purposes under exam conditions, in which case students need preparing for a range of different types of writing, while others use productive skills only in coursework. Even with the latter, however, it is helpful for students to attempt different kinds of writing as it is far too easy for them to stick with the safest options of writing they’ve done before, if they aren’t encouraged to experiment.

Transformative writing is a very specific task, requiring most of the skills of original writing at the same time.  The majority of these tasks will support the teaching of productive and transformative skills, and there is an additional section specifically for working with sources in the way required by transformative tasks.

Preparing to write in particular forms

Genre recipes

Resources required:

  • Sugar paper, etc. (optional if using as display)

This is a very useful revision activity for those who have to ‘write to order’ in exam conditions, and is suitable for all genres.

  • Students create recipes for different genres, specifying the features they contain.
  • Different students can be asked to work on different genres, to produce a whole-class effort (especially if it’s used as display work), or students can do this individually for as many genres as possible, as revision.

Focusing on how to write different kinds of texts is very helpful, particularly for those tasks which call for a commentary.  Students can be encouraged to think about features for their texts before writing – effectively planning for the commentary while planning the piece.

For original and transformative...


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