The Want-to Part of Writing

I help students with the want-to part of writing. It’s not something I learned in school.

Schools focus on the have-to’s. You have to take this class to graduate. You have to fill X number of pages to make an A on your paper.

Of course, motivating with “have-to’s” is not bad. We all do things every day (show up to work, visit the dentist, pay taxes) because we have to.

Have-to’s work; they just don’t work completely; they don’t work best.

A student who has to write will turn in his essay on time. A student who wants to write will finish it early, leaving time for multiple revisions so the composition will be not only good, but very good.

A student who has to improve her grammar will make the required trip to a writing tutor. A student who wants to write more effectively will visit a tutor multiple times, maybe even purchase a handbook at her own expense, so poor grammar will not get in the way of her clarity.

You get the drift. One who has to write does what he has to. One who wants to write does more than she has to.

So how do you get students to want-to? Tomorrow’s blog.

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