About the Project

The Purpose of the Summer Writing Institute

The purpose of this online Summer Writing Institute was to provide inservice teachers in all content areas with knowledge and pedagogy about writing and about composing processes across disciplines. SHWP employed Katie Wood Ray’s (2006) instructional framework, the unit of study, in which the inservice teachers studied model texts to learn about writing. This instructional framework is an inquiry-based approach to genre study, in which writing is used as a tool for learning and communicating content and for learning about writing. Ray’s instructional framework enabled the inservice teachers to study writing in a way that helped them to see what they did as writers. In their study with middle grades teachers and students, Pytash and Morgan (2013) found this instructional framework provided opportunities for students to actively study and inquire about writing that can be found in the real world within genres people read and wrote regularly. Through the unit of study, inservice teachers learned discourse, content, and literacy knowledge.

The Research

The SHWP is based upon current research, professional association guidelines (National Writing Project), and informed practices that work from an inquiry stance. This online institute prepared teachers to design, implement, and evaluate methods of integrating writing instruction into content area instruction. Through reading/writing workshops, model presentations, and model instructor/participant demonstrations, the online institute created a community of writers and readers.


Pytash, K. E., & Morgan, D. N. (2013). A Unit of Study Approach for
     Teaching Common Core State Standards for Writing. Middle School Journal (J3)44(3), 44-51.

Ray, K. W. (2006). Exploring inquiry as a Teaching Stance in the
     Writing Workshop. Language Arts83(3), 238.