Crafting or composing a text
Crafting or composing a text means recording ideas and information, usually on paper or in electronic form. The student creates a text to meet the writing purpose and engage the intended audience by writing down the best possible words in the best possible order, using and extending their knowledge of English vocabulary and syntax.
Students can develop their expertise in many aspects of crafting a text by watching and listening as the teacher or another writer demonstrates or explains a relevant part of the process. They also learn about crafting texts by thinking and talking about the texts that they read and by discussing frequently, with their teacher and with other students, what they are doing as they write.
The points listed under the headings “What writers do” and “How teachers can support learners” are examples rather than comprehensive lists of what writers do and what teachers might say to support them.
What writers do
- order selected ideas and information in a way that makes the meaning of the text clear to the reader
- shape their text to create links between the main information and supporting details or between the introduction and conclusion
- synthesise and use ideas from their previous learning about texts, for example, ideas about using appropriate vocabulary, text structure, and language features
- ask questions of themselves (and sometimes others) about the content and impact of their writing, considering especially the deeper features of their writing, such as author’s voice, structure, vocabulary usage, imagery, and language features
- attend to these deeper features of their writing and also to surface features, such as grammar, spelling, and punctuation (where this does not interrupt the flow of composition at this stage)
- seek and act on feedback from their peers.
How teachers can support learners
- As I write, I want you to think about whether I am making my intended writing purpose clear. Be ready to suggest to me what changes I can make so that my text matches my writing purpose.
- Our learning goal for writing today is to make sure that the main points of our reports are very clear to the reader. We have identified this as a need that many of you have when you write reports. Look particularly at where I place my main points in the paragraph, how I draw the reader’s attention to them, and how I support them with detail.
- How are you making use of the language features that we identified in the text that we read together? How are they enhancing your writing?
- I notice you’re using some technical words, like “hypothesis”, “data”, and “phenomena”. How do these strengthen your writing?
- Are you thinking about the key sounds or the spelling pattern of that word as you write it down?
- Maybe you need to look again at the explanation that we wrote together to see how to express cause and effect clearly.
- How are you attempting to meet your personal learning goal for writing? What do you expect to get particular feedback on?
- I’m unsure about your point of view on the topic after reading the introduction that you’ve drafted. You have only described your topic so far. I want to know your position on it.
- We agreed earlier that imagery can sometimes enhance a piece of transactional writing, but it can also become intrusive. Think about whether all the imagery you’ve used in this text is appropriate for the purpose and audience.