Writing to Learn vs. Learning to Write

One of the hardest things for faculty to understand when they are new to writing-intensive teaching at Penn State is the requirement to help students write to learn course concepts as well as learn to write using the techniques of the discipline's genres.

Informal, ungraded writing-to-learn activities distinguish a writing-intensive course from non-W courses that teach students how to write.

What is the difference between writing to learn and learning to write? The materials below—developed by leading figures in the field of writing across the curriculum Lex Runciman and Art Young—chart some distinctions between informal, writing-to-learn activities and formal, graded, traditional writing activities.

For more information, email Jon Olson.