Text-based Writing Assignments for College Readiness

Published in: The Reading Teacher, v. 70, no. 3, p. 347-351; doi:10.1002/trtr.1489

Posted on RAND.org on March 13, 2017

by Lindsay Clare Matsumura, Elaine Lin Wang, Richard Correnti

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Research shows that cognitively demanding text-based writing assignments increase students' reading comprehension skills and analytic writing competencies. In this article, we describe the steps that upper-elementary grade teachers can take to develop cognitively demanding assignments that build these higher-level literacy skills and put students on the path to college readiness. Specifically, we discuss features of texts, both fiction and nonfiction, that provide grist for students to grapple with in their writing and prompts that support knowledge construction, deep thinking about texts, and use of evidence to support reasoning.

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