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Nonfictionary

Melissa Stewart

Three Tips for Writing Teachers

Teach­ers often feel frus­trat­ed when the revi­sions stu­dents make to their writ­ing aren’t improve­ments. And so they ask me how to help the chil­dren make their man­u­scripts bet­ter. I wish I had an easy answer for these teach­ers and for their stu­dents, but here’s the truth: Revi­sion is messy. It’s fraught with detours. Even expe­ri­enced writ­ers strug­gle with the process, and some­times our efforts are com­plete and utter fail­ures.… more

Melissa Stewart

What the Heck is Creative Nonfiction?

The term cre­ative non­fic­tion was first used by Lee Gutkind in the 1980s as a syn­onym for nar­ra­tive non­fic­tion. Gutkind wished to con­vey the idea that non­fic­tion wasn’t always dry and util­i­tar­i­an. By employ­ing such ele­ments as char­ac­ter, dia­logue, scene build­ing, strong voice, inno­v­a­tive struc­ture, point of view, and lit­er­ary devices, writ­ers could craft non­fic­tion that sings. … more

Melissa Stewart

Why Students Copy Their Research Sources,
and How to Break the Habit

By third grade, near­ly all stu­dents know what pla­gia­rism is and under­stand that it’s both immoral and ille­gal, and yet, again and again, we catch them copy­ing their sources. Why don’t stu­dents express ideas and infor­ma­tion in their own words? Because they haven’t tak­en the time or don’t have the skills to ana­lyze and syn­the­size the mate­r­i­al they’ve col­lect­ed so that they can make their own mean­ing.… more