Student Writers Can Think for Themselves

Common Core Standards are argued to be guiding student writers who struggle and grapple with what to write about. Here are the guidelines:

1. Write arguments to support claims in an analysis of substantive topics or texts, using valid reasoning and relevant and sufficient evidence.
2. Write informative/explanatory texts to examine and convey complex ideas and information clearly and accurately through the effective selection, organization, and analysis of content.
3. Write narratives to develop real or imagined experiences or events using effective technique, well-chosen details, and well-structured event sequences.

But what I have found in teaching writing is that the more guidelines you give student writers, the more their confidence dwindles and with it their desire to write. Students find themselves not guided, but forced to write stilted, formulated essays.

Common Core is only common in the way that it is appealing to the idea that student writers can’t think for themselves.

I, for you, refuse to believe that. Student writers can think for themselves and their ideas are wonderfully creative.