top of page

Principles of Approach

Our approach is based on strategy instruction, which is an evidence-based approach to writing instruction (e.g., Graham & Perin, 2007; Graham, 2006; Graham, Harris, & Chambers; MacArthur, 2011). Strategy instruction refers to the systematic instruction of writing tasks and processes. In addition, we emphasize the development of self-regulation and students’ independence as writers and learners (Harris & Graham, 2009). In this approach students are taught how to go through the writing process by being strategic and by making in advance thoughtful choices regarding the type of writing they do, the length of their response and format, and the planning and evaluation strategies they use. Students thoughtfully reflect on their effort and progress, evaluate their learning goals and set new goals for improvement.

This strategic approach to the teaching of genre systematically integrates the teaching of genres with strategy instruction, which provides explicit explanation of processes and tasks and promotes students’ self-regulation. In this strategic, genre-based instruction,  students analyze the writing tasks thinking about the  writing purpose and the audience (rhetorical-task analysis) (Philippakos, 2018), and they plan, evaluate and revise their work using genre elements. Text-structure elements and/or writing purposes are introduced during read-alouds and genre elements are applied in both reading and writing tasks to support students’ summarization and note taking (Graham & Hebert, 2011). Further, this approach promotes critical thinking through practice evaluating and reviewing (Philippakos & MacArthur, 2016; MacArthur, 2018). Students learn how to identify the elements of a genre and apply genre-specific rubrics during self-evaluation and peer review. In this work students’ speaking and listening skills are supported through the integration of dialogic pedagogy with cognitive strategy instruction (Philippakos & MacArthur, 2019; Philippakos, MacArthur, & Munsell, 2018). 

Overall, in this approach, students are supported to develop their own strategies that will help them be self-regulated learners who can make decisions about what to write and how. Teachers on the other hand are supported in the development of lessons across multiple genres. We view teachers as professional ARCHITECTS of writing lessons who not only teach writing effectively, but can also make meaningful connections between reading and writing.



Graham, S., Harris, K.R., & Chambers, A. B. (2016). Evidence-based practice and writing instruction: A review of reviews. In MacArthur, C. A., Graham, S., & Fitzgerald, J. (Eds), Handbook of Writing Research, 2nd Edition (pp. 211-226). New York: Guilford Press.


Graham, S., & Hebert, M. (2011). Writing to read: A meta-analysis of the impact of writing and writing instruction on reading.(Report). Harvard Educational Review, 81(4), 710–744.


Graham, S., & Perin, D. (2007). What we know, what we still need to know: Teaching adolescents to write. Scientific Studies of Reading, 11, 313-335.


Harris, K. R., & Graham, S. (2009). Self-regulated strategy development in writing: Premises, evolution, and the future. British Journal of Educational Psychology Monograph Series 6, 113-135. DOI: 10.1348/978185409X422542.


MacArthur, C. A. (2018). Evaluation and revisions. In C. A. MacArthur, S. Graham, & J. Fitzgerald (Eds.), Best Practices in Writing Instruction (3rd ed., pp. 287-308). New York/London: The Guilford Press.

Philippakos, Z. (2018). Using a task analysis process for reading and writing assignments. The Reading Teacher, 72(1), 107–114. doi:10.1002/trtr.1690


Philippakos, Z. A., & MacArthur, C. A. (2016). The effects of giving feedback on the persuasive writing of fourth- and fifth-grade students. Reading Research Quarterly, 51(4), 419-433.

Traga Philippakos, Z. A., & MacArthur, C. A. (2019). Integrating collaborative reasoning and strategy instruction to improve second graders’ opinion writing. Reading & Writing Quarterly. Online first. DOI: 10.1080/10573569.2019.1650315

bottom of page