Frequently Asked Questions

Advice for Reluctant, Unmotivated Students
Begin With Second Half for 8th Graders?
Conferencing with Students
God's World News and/or WORLD Magazine: Needed for the Curriculum? Grammar: Recommended Grammar Curriculum to Accompany Write With WORLD?
Grammar: What Is Covered?
High School: Appropriate for a High School Student to Use?
High School Credit?
High School: Is a High School Version Planned?
Marvin Olasky's Article About Write With WORLD
Return/Refund Policy
School or Homeschool: Will It Work for Either?
Scope & Sequence - How Long to Spend on the Lessons
Teacher Preparation Time

Advice: Reluctant, Unmotivated Students
For students who have lost motivation for writing, the best step forward may be to take a step back. Try to disassociate writing from school and grades. It may be profitable to create a writing situation where they are not being graded and aren't tempted to settle for doing the minimum. Rather, they could use a situation that gives them an audience, and with it, the self-motivation and purpose for writing.

One example might be a private blog where they can write about anything they choose - they just have to write. (They might start with why they don't like to write!) Find ten people who will commit to reading and commenting on their writing. This gives them a target audience, freedom of choice on topics so they establish their own purpose for writing, and hopefully real responses.

Another strategy is to discover what they like to read. Make sure it's well-written material, but then encourage them and make time for them to read. Reading good writing demonstrates the pleasure and power that can be conveyed - and which they can convey when they write well themselves.

People make the effort to write well because of the purpose and audience. Contrived writing exercises for school can seem pointless. Many actually are, if the student already has the skill. Writing for school or for a grade is an exercise, not a purpose. Make the purpose real - something they know about and want to talk about. Make the audience real - not just the "teacher."


Begin With Second Half for 8th Graders?
If starting with an 8th grade class, it is fine to begin with the second year textbook from Write With WORLD. The first year's material is foundational in helping build students' love for and confidence in their own ability to write. It also helps them to learn to write more visually and to be more specific. Eighth grade teachers may find they need to supplement with lessons from the first half, especially on the topic of being specific.


Conferencing With Students
We think conferencing is important. It underscores that the student is writing for an audience, not just a score, and it is the best form of feedback. In a homeschool setting, we recommend conferencing every other week. Do three lessons one week, then two lessons and a conference session the next week.

If you are teaching in a classroom setting, plan on conducting a one-on-one conference at least once a quarter. The best way to handle the need for feedback in a large group is to go through a set of drafts and find the issues that the class as a whole is struggling with. For instance, if they are being vague, pull a few vague paragraphs out and work on them as a class. Also pull out positive examples for the same issue. Students will improve when they see examples of what exactly you are looking for, and also when you work through some problem paragraphs with the group.


God's World News and/or WORLD Magazine: Needed for the Curriculum?
Write With WORLD can be used independently . The curriculum is loosely connected to WORLD Magazine and God's World News, our monthly publications that use current events and lessons in key subject areas to teach critical thinking skills. When the curriculum uses examples of articles or essays from these publications, the sample writing will be provided either in the textbooks or on the Write With WORLD website. However, using these complementary materials together will accelerate students' training to think critically and express ideas clearly. (See www.gwnews.com.)


Grammar: Any Recommended Grammar curriculum to Accompany Write With WORLD?
We don't have any suggestions of specific grammar curricula to use in conjunction with Write With WORLD. Our experience has been that overemphasis on grammar drills often makes students so fearful of making a mistake that it creates a stilted, passive style of writing. If you wish to supplement grammar instruction, it may benefit your students if you separate that from their writing instruction.

Our preference is to use student writing whenever possible. For each set of drafts that come in, we collect some examples of grammar issues we believe need work based on the class' collective errors. We put them on a page, have the students try to correct them, and then go over them as a class.


Grammar: What Is Covered?
Write With WORLD tackles the top 20 grammar errors made by U.S. college students (based on Andrea Lunsford's research). The curriculum covers all but one of them (#6), but we also add a few other common problems that grew naturally out of the lessons or that we thought were important: parallelism, when to use I/me, apostrophes and contractions, and use of quotation marks.

In every unit, the first three lessons cover one error each, and the fourth lesson is a review of the grammar issues touched on in that unit.

Our philosophy is that exercises are not the best way to teach grammar; grammar is best learned in the context of students' own writing when possible. Ultimately, good grammar helps improve style, as well. The lessons are short, but they focus on key issues with which real students struggle.

Lesson Grammar Topic
1.1 it's /its
1.2 fragments
1.3 vague pronoun reference

2.1 parallelism
2.2 run-on (fused) sentences
2.3 comma after introductory clause

3.1 to, too, two
3.2 consistency in tense
3.3 Pronoun/ antecedent agreement

4.1 when to use "I" and "me"
4.2 apostrophes and ownership
4.3 apostrophes and contractions

5.1 comma splices
5.2 quotation marks
5.3 subject verb agreement

6.1 misplaced modifiers
6.2 wrong verb form
6.3 wrong verb tense

7.1 wrong word
7.2 wrong or missing preposition
7.3 unnecessary shift in pronoun

8.1 missing commas
8.2 missing commas
8.3 unnecessary commas


High School: Appropriate for a High School Student to Use?
It depends a lot on how much writing the student has done so far, and his own self-motivation.

One reason Write With WORLD is flexible as to grade level is because we don't do grade-level grammar drills or teach a limited structural formula for writing. Instead, we emphasize the process of writing that professional writers employ - the process of critical thinking, problem-solving, and making decisions. Students learn to focus on the purpose and the audience, and then craft the best writing approach to meet the objective.

That approach is applicable to students of varying levels, and for a young high school student, the teacher can certainly push the student at a faster pace and expect more sophisticated vocabulary and syntax.


High School Credit?
No, Write With WORLD is designed for middle school and does not address many of the conventions that high schools may require for credit.


High School: Is a High School Version Planned?
It depends on how widely the middle school version is used, and whether enough people request a high school version. People certainly have expressed interest, so we are considering a high school version. Its focus would be college preparatory, with an emphasis on writing arguments. The earliest it would be available is Fall, 2014.


Marvin Olasky's Article About Write With WORLD
Marvin Olasky's column about the advantages of specificity in life and writing appeared in the Feb. 11, 2012 issue of WORLD Magazine. In it, he refers to Write With WORLD as a means to train students to think and make choices deliberately. Find the full text of the article here.


Return/Refund Policy
We will refund the purchase price within 30 days of shipment. We do not refund the shipping charges, nor do we pay for return shipping. We try to provide enough good information up-front so you can make a confident buying decision. Also, books that get shipped back and forth are usually lost to damage, so we want to encourage and equip a well-reasoned purchase, but in a way that reflects good stewardship.


School or Homeschool: Will It Work for Either?
Write With WORLD is suitable to use in either a homeschool or school setting. Time management is always a challenge in a classroom setting, where you have many student drafts to review and fewer opportunities for individual conferencing and direction. The best way to handle the need for feedback in a large group is to go through a set of drafts and find the issues with which the class as a whole is struggling. For instance, if they are being vague, select a few vague paragraphs as examples and work on them as a class. Also cite positive examples for the same issue. Students will improve when they see examples of what exactly you are expecting, and also when you work through some problem paragraphs with the group. Even with large classes, strive to conduct one-on-one conferences at least once a quarter.


Scope & Sequence - How long to spend on the lessons
We recommend doing three capsules one week and two the next. On the week you complete two capsules, the third time slot should be used as a built-in time for conferencing. You may want or need to do more conferencing, but a planned conference at least that often is a good idea. (In a classroom setting, we recommend a one-on-one conference at least once a quarter.)

We recommend doing Write With WORLD as a two-year program. It is possible to do both parts one and two in a single year, but that is not as effective for most students, and feedback from users has confirmed that a two-year pace is preferable. Students' writing improves most when they practice process writing - planning, writing, and revising (sometimes multiple times). You can't rush it without sacrificing other school work.


Teacher Preparation Time
The capsules are set up so that students should be able to do most of the work on their own. You may need to spend some time with them prompting them and helping them get started as they work, but little in-advance preparation is required.

You will want to plan larger blocks of time for responding to student writing, which you would expect with any writing instruction. You will have small responses to smaller projects and the student's journal entries. In year one of the curriculum, you will have about one large assignment per eight-week Unit. In year two, some Units have more projects, but most are smaller in scope.

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