In the role of coach, not judge, we have tremendous potential to encourage students to invest themselves in the writing process in our classes and beyond. Students' investment depends largely upon our approach. If we are condemning, students will have little desire to pursue growth as writers. If, on the other hand, we are positive—emphasizing what can be improved rather than where students have failed in completed drafts—our students will more likely be motivated toward the attainable goals we've helped them identify. Remember that most students have at some point been labeled as either good or bad writers, and they likely have accepted that label as a lifetime sentence. Our encouragement can help students understand writing as a process in which they are equipped to engage. No matter how skilled they are when they enter our classrooms, we can help them identify and build skills that will support their growth as writers.
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