NU Ideas

NU Ideas Volume 6


Nagoya University Multidisciplinary Journal

Third International Symposium on
Academic Writing and Critical Thinking

Best Practices for Teaching Academic Writing:
A Guide for University Teachers in Japan (and Elsewhere)

Paul Wadden
International Christian University

John Peterson
Stanford University

Acknowledging the diverse contexts in which university lecturers teach writing, particularly in Japan, this article offers a number of “best practices” for composition pedagogy within a broad rhetorical framework. These practices advocate writing instruction as an integrated reading-researching-writing-revising process that includes – in addition to the conventional elements of brainstorming, organizing, drafting, and editing – cultivation of meta-skills and habits of mind beneficial to the long-term development of deep writing skills. While prescribing universal principles for writing instruction amounts to a theoretical and pedagogical overreach, the practical principles in this discussion are elaborated for composition instructors to adapt and adopt – and debate and discard – as fits their courses and classrooms.

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