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my relationship with reading and writing essay

My Evolving Relationship with Writing

I didn’t always enjoy writing.

Yes, I know what you’re thinking: how ironic that the blog writer didn’t always enjoy writing.  Well, it’s true.  My relationship with writing has been an emotional rollercoaster, with soaring highs and disheartening lows.  However, by some chance it has led me to where I’m at today, and for that I am most happy.

I first started writing in elementary school.  Like the other students, my writing was pretty basic and rudimentary.  However, I developed a keen interest for it.  My stories were a method for putting my thoughts and daydreams into reality.  I based all of my stories off of the 2001 hit movie Spy Kids .  The plot was essentially the same for all of my stories: my best friend, Stephen, and I, would have to solve a mystery, save the world, and defeat the bad guys.  Pretty cliché, I know, but evidently my teacher took notice, and one day the principal of my school came into the classroom, gathered around all of the students, and read my stories to the class.  A principal, reading MY stories, to my classroom?!  At the time, this was roughly equivalent to winning the lottery, to me.  I was so ecstatic, and my excitement about writing grew tenfold.  My mind was then set; I was going to grow up and become a writer.

my relationship with reading and writing essay

Soon enough I was in middle and high school, and I absolutely could not stand writing.  What my elementary school teachers failed to tell me was that as I progressed through the grades, writing wouldn’t continue to be fictional and fun.  No, writing was now all about research, analysis, and using facts.  There was hardly any wiggle room for creativity or self-expression, and this was most certainly not my cup of tea.  Like any other situation, I was able to assimilate and adjust my writing style to succeed in this new form of writing, but my passion for storytelling decreased to an all-time low.  I can honestly say that at the time, academia caused the breakup between writing and me.

Only a year ago, I was a freshman here at UD.  As I stepped into my Honors Colloquia writing course, Fantasies of Contagion, I have no idea what to expect.  I had just completed ENGL 110 the previous semester, which was all about academic writing (just like middle and high school).  However, I was surprised when I saw in the syllabus the assignment, “Create a fictional work that includes one of the concepts discussed in class.”  I could hardly contain myself because I was so gleeful.  Finally, after years of hating writing, I was back to doing what I love: writing about what interests me.  I spent more time on that paper than I had on any other in a long time.  I truly cared about how it turned out because (here’s the crazy part) I actually enjoyed writing it and didn’t mind that I stayed up until one in the morning writing it.  It didn’t feel like work to me; it felt…right.  I ended up receiving an A, and my professor suggested that I submit it to a literary magazine.  Yes, it was a struggle, and some feelings were hurt, but writing and I got back together and formed a happy union once again.

Today, I can thankfully say that I still love writing.  I have since increased my writing involvement by becoming a writer for this blog as well as a contributing writer for DEconstruction Magazine.  Also, I am in the process of applying to be a Writing Fellow.  As for the future, I have no idea what it holds.  This hobby of mine could very well turn into a successful career.  It could also become a lifelong hobby, or it could go back to being as painful as it once was.  I can’t gaze into a crystal ball, so I’m just going to enjoy it while it lasts.  Be on the lookout for more – I look forward to writing many more stories for your enjoyment!

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Explaining the Symbiotic Relationship Between Reading and Writing

Students who understand how reading relates to writing and vice versa can develop into better writers.

Photo of high school students writing

For elementary school teachers, the saying is, students learn to read and then read to learn. At the middle and high school levels, teachers may experience the relationship of first writing to read, and then reading to write. Although this expression is not so common, there are resources that point to such a relationship, including ” Writing to Read: Evidence for How Writing Can Improve Reading ” or books such as The Write to Read .

While the relationship of “writing to read” and “reading to write” represents a symbiotic one, there is a distinct difference that may help us better understand what we are teaching students.

Writing to Read

When a student is writing to read, they are using writing as a tool to truly understand the reading. Writing to read is driven by the text the student is studying.

Examples of writing to read

  • Write a high-level summary to remember and consolidate the content of the reading.
  • Write a claim about the reading, and use three pieces of evidence to support it.
  • Respond to open-ended questions about the reading as a way to connect to or analyze the text.
  • Write an essay on a book to illuminate a particular theme or provide evidence to trace tonal shifts in the piece.
  • Write about the content of a particular text or texts to understand, analyze, or evaluate the text(s) at a deeper level.
  • Annotate during reading to capture important terms, ideas, or content.
  • Fill in graphic organizers or take notes to track the reading.
  • Write in response to a prompt.
  • Write an essay about a particular literary device or critical feature of the text(s).

Reading to Write

When a student is reading to write, they are using reading as a tool to improve their writing. Reading to write occurs when students first learn how to imitate their favorite authors, historians, scientists, or researchers. This is the deliberate use of mentor texts to mold a student’s writing ability.

Examples of reading to write

  • Read memoirs or personal essays to prepare to write a college essay.
  • Read several articles from a particular journal or newspaper to increase knowledge of stylistic expectations in preparation to write a piece for publication.
  • To help relieve writer’s block, use reading to think about different ways to write.
  • Read widely on a topic to consider one’s own writing approach and background knowledge.
  • Review multiple texts to write for a particular purpose or on a specific topic.
  • Read a lot to write more by picking out the ideas that spark thinking.
  • Maintain an annotated bibliography of mentor texts that serve as a writing coach.

Moving Toward Reading to Write

The developmental progression from reader to writer is specific to each student’s experience; however, we do know that in order to strengthen their ability to write, students must continue to read more.

Reading feeds writing. When writing dries up or stalls, the best way to revitalize it is to feed your brain with more reading. Reading may be compared to eating the nutrients we need for the energy to write. Reading feeds the writer with ideas for structure, rich language, literary moves, and compelling ways to illuminate a writer’s purpose.

After filling our brain with reading, turning back to writing typically gives one the energy needed to continue. This is one reason why writing to read is so important early on, then gradually becomes just as important as reading to write. As students develop confidence and competence as readers as the content and vocabulary become much more sophisticated, they build capacity to see the text as both a reader and a writer.

There are potential benefits of looking at the writing-to-read and reading-to-write relationship as teachers continue to challenge themselves with the best way to teach students how to write. Many times at the middle and high school levels, experience with writing to read is the dominant one. If this is the case, it might be a good time to rethink instructional goals and associated assessments.

Here are some practical suggestions for how to weave the two more seamlessly so that students grow into stronger writers.

Assignments that Weave in Reading to Write

After students complete a writing-to-read activity, have them complete a second activity that asks them to use the same text as a reading-to-write activity. (Models and research on how to use mentor texts can be found in books by Allison Marchetti and Rebekah O’Dell .) The second activity may be practice captured in the writer’s notebook for the student to use as a resource to support their writing throughout the year. Some examples of such activities may include the following:

  • Write a high-level summary of the text, then pick sentences from the text that use punctuation or sentence structure in a way that is powerful.
  • Write a claim along with supporting evidence, then look at the text to pick out the best use of transitions.
  • Annotate a book to trace character development, then pull out parts of the book that were written with vivid, descriptive language.
  • Write an essay on the theme of a book, then write a reflection on the author’s craft.
  • Write a response to reading to analyze the author’s line of reasoning, then break down the formal structure of the argument.

After high school, students contribute even more to society, so they need to know how to cogently express their thinking to others. Empowering students as writers requires practice, and it’s important that students understand how writing to read and reading to write serve them in markedly different ways.

Reading and Writing for Understanding

  • Posted July 21, 2005
  • By Sarah O'Brien Mackey

children and teacher reading

Secondary school students can benefit enormously when teachers of all subjects integrate reading and writing strategies into their instruction, according to  Harvard Graduate School of Education Lecturer Vicki Jacobs . These strategies, typical of "reading and writing to learn" and "reading and writing across the curriculum," are problem-solving activities designed to help students move from simply knowing a fact to understanding a fact's significance. Helping students make that leap — from knowing to understanding — represents the very heart of the educational enterprise.

This summary is based on Jacobs' article, " Reading, Writing, and Understanding, " which appeared in the November 2002 edition of Educational Leadership .

Reading to Learn

Jacobs explains that students learn and practice beginning reading skills through about the third grade, building their knowledge about language and letter-sound relationships and developing fluency in their reading. Around fourth grade, students must begin to use these developing reading skills to learn — to make meaning, solve problems, and understanding something new. They need to comprehend what they read through a three-stage meaning-making process.

Stage One: Prereading

It's not uncommon for a struggling secondary reader to declare, "I read last night's homework, but I don't remember anything about it (let alone understand it)!" According to Jacobs, "How successfully students remember or understand the text depends, in part, on how explicitly teachers have prepared them to read it for clearly defined purposes."

During the prereading stage, teachers prepare students for their encounter with the text. They help students organize the background knowledge and experience they will use to solve the mystery of the text. To do so, they must understand the cultural and language-based contexts students bring to their reading, their previous successes or failures with the content, and general ability to read a particular kind of text. Based on this assessment, teachers can choose strategies that will serve as effective scaffolds between the students' "given" and the "new" of the text.

Asking such questions as, "What do I already know and what do I need to know before reading?" or "What do I think this passage will be about, given the headings, graphs, or pictures?" helps students anticipate the text, make personal connections with the text, and help to promote engagement and motivation. Brainstorming and graphic organizers also serve to strengthen students' vocabulary knowledge and study skills.

Stage Two: Guided Reading

Students move on to guided reading, during which they familiarize themselves with the surface meaning of the text and then probe it for deeper meaning. Effective guided-reading activities allow students to apply their background knowledge and experience to the "new." They provide students with means to revise predictions; search for tentative answers; gather, organize, analyze, and synthesize evidence; and begin to make assertions about their new understanding. Common guided-reading activities include response journals and collaborative work on open-ended problems. During guided reading, Jacobs recommends that teachers transform the factual questions that typically appear at the end of a chapter into questions that ask how or why the facts are important.

The ability to monitor one's own reading often distinguishes effective and struggling readers. Thus, guided-reading activities should provide students with the opportunity to reflect on the reading process itself — recording in a log how their background knowledge and experience influenced their understanding of text, identifying where they may have gotten lost during reading and why, and asking any questions they have about the text. As with prereading, guided-reading activities not only enhance comprehension but also promote vocabulary knowledge and study skills.

Stage Three: Postreading

During postreading, students test their understanding of the text by comparing it with that of their classmates. In doing so, they help one another revise and strengthen their arguments while reflecting and improving on their own.

Writing to Learn

Writing is often used as a means of evaluating students' understanding of a certain topic, but it is also a powerful tool for engaging students in the act of learning itself. Writing allows students to organize their thoughts and provides a means by which students can form and extend their thinking, thus deepening understanding. Like reading-to-learn, writing can be a meaning-making process.

Research suggests that the most effective way to improve students' writing is a process called inquiry. This process allows students to define and test what they would like to write before drafting. To help students prepare their arguments, teachers guide them through the three stages of writing-based inquiry:

  • Stating specific, relevant details from personal experience;
  • Proposing observations or interpretations of the text; and
  • Testing these assertions by predicting and countering potential opposing arguments. Through inquiry, students discover and refine something worth writing about.

Writing-to-learn activities can include freewriting (writing, without editing, what comes to mind), narrative writing (drawing on personal experience), response writing (writing thoughts on a specific issue); loop writing (writing on one idea from different perspectives) and dialogue writing (for example, with an author or a character.) "Not surprisingly," writes Jacobs, "writing-to learn activities are also known as 'writing-to-read' strategies — means by which students can engage with text in order to understand it."

Reading, writing, and understanding

The relationship among reading, writing, and understanding is clear. Students engaged in reading-to-learn will also be prepared to write well. In turn, students who are engaged in writing-to-learn will become more effective readers. Through both approaches, students will gain a better understanding of material and a greater ability to demonstrate that understanding.

Staff Development

Jacobs recommends that teachers who are considering whether to implement reading-to-learn and writing-to-learn strategies into their classroom first define their own instructional goals. If teachers decide that their goals for students' learning include "understanding," then they might ask themselves such questions as, "What strategies do I use to prepare my students to read a text?" or "How explicitly do I share with students the purpose of an assignment?" As Jacobs sees it, "Only after teachers have examined whether teaching for understanding suits their instructional goals and after they have defined their role in facilitating understanding can they consider how the principles and practices of reading-to-learn and writing-to-learn might support their instruction."

For those teachers who decide that teaching for understanding does indeed suit their instructional goals, the framework offered in Jacobs' article can help them skillfully integrate reading-to-learn and writing-to-learn strategies across their instruction.

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Home — Essay Samples — Life — Reading Books — A Reflection on the Improvement in My Reading, Writing, and Learning


A Reflection on The Improvement in My Reading, Writing, and Learning

  • Categories: Reading Books

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Words: 649 |

Published: Dec 11, 2018

Words: 649 | Page: 1 | 4 min read

Works Cited

  • Anderson, P. (2017). Technical Communication: A Reader-Centered Approach. Cengage Learning.
  • Bussmann, H., & A. Jansen, E. (2018). How to Write and Illustrate a Scientific Paper. Cambridge University Press.
  • Graff, G., & Birkenstein, C. (2018). They Say / I Say: The Moves That Matter in Academic Writing. W. W. Norton & Company.
  • Hacker, D. (2019). A Writer's Reference. Bedford/St. Martin's.
  • Lunsford, A. A., & Ruszkiewicz, J. J. (2020). Everything's an Argument with Readings. Bedford/St. Martin's.
  • McWhorter, K. T. (2018). Reading and Writing About Contemporary Issues. Bedford/St. Martin's.
  • Oshima, A., & Hogue, A. (2018). Writing Academic English. Pearson Education.
  • Rosen, L. D., & Lim, A. F. (2018). Writing for the Information Age: Elements of Style for the 21st Century. Cengage Learning.
  • Strunk, W., Jr., & White, E. B. (2017). The Elements of Style. Penguin.
  • Williams, J. M., & Colomb, G. G. (2020). Style: Lessons in Clarity and Grace. Pearson Education.

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my relationship with reading and writing essay

Reading Worksheets, Spelling, Grammar, Comprehension, Lesson Plans

The Relationship Between Reading and Writing

Reading Writing Puzzle Pieces

F or many years reading and writing were (and sometimes still are) taught separately. Though the two have almost always been taught by the same person (the English/Language Arts teacher) during the Language Arts period or block, educators rarely made explicit connections between the two for their students. Over the last ten years research has shown that reading and writing are more interdependent than we thought. The relationship between reading and writing is a bit like that of the chicken and egg. Which came first is not as important as the fact that without one the other cannot exist. A child’s literacy development is dependent on this interconnection between reading and writing.

Basically put: reading affects writing and writing affects reading. According to recommendations from the major English/Language Arts professional organizations, reading instruction is most effective when intertwined with writing instruction and vice versa. Research has found that when children read extensively they become better writers. Reading a variety of genres helps children learn text structures and language that they can then transfer to their own writing. In addition, reading provides young people with prior knowledge that they can use in their stories. One of the primary reasons that we read is to learn. Especially while we are still in school, a major portion of what we know comes from the texts we read. Since writing is the act of transmitting knowledge in print, we must have information to share before we can write it. Therefore reading plays a major role in writing.

At the same time practice in writing helps children build their reading skills. This is especially true for younger children who are working to develop phonemic awareness and phonics skills. Phonemic awareness (the understanding that words are developed from sound “chunks”) develops as children read and write new words. Similarly, phonics skills or the ability to link sounds together to construct words are reinforced when children read and write the same words. For older children practice in the process of writing their own texts helps them analyze the pieces that they read. They can apply their knowledge about the ways that they chose to use particular language, text structure or content to better understand a professional author’s construction of his or her texts.

Harnessing the Reading-Writing Relationship to Help Children Learn

Simply knowing that reading and writing are intimately connected processes isn’t enough. In order to help children develop these two essential skills, parents and teachers need to apply this knowledge when working with them. Here are a few strategies for using reading and writing to reinforce development of literacy skills.

Genre Study

One of the most effective ways to use the relationship between reading and writing to foster literacy development is by immersing children in a specific genre. Parents and teachers should identify a genre that is essential to a grade level’s curriculum or is of particular interest to a child or group of children. They should then study this genre with the child(ren) from the reading and writing perspectives. Children should read and discuss with adults high quality examples of works written in the genre focusing on its structure and language as well as other basic reading skills including phonics and comprehension. Once children have studied the genre to identify its essential elements, they should be given opportunities to write in the genre. As they are writing, adults should help them apply what they have learned from reading genre specific texts to guide their composition. This process should be recursive to allow children to repeatedly move between reading and writing in the genre. In the end children will not only have a solid and rich knowledge of the genre, but will also have strengthened their general reading and writing skills.

Reading to Develop Specific Writing Skills

Parents and teachers do not have to engage in an extensive genre study to foster their children’s reading and writing abilities. Texts can be used on limited basis to help children learn and strengthen specific writing skills. Parents and teachers should first identify writing skills that a particular child or group of children need support in developing. For example, many students in a seventh grade class might have difficulty writing attention getting introductions in their essays. One of the most effective ways to help children build specific writing skills is to show and discuss with them models that successfully demonstrate the skill. Adults should select a number of texts where the authors “nail” the area that they want to help their children grow in. For our sample seventh graders we’d want to find several pieces of writing with strong, engaging introductions and read and analyze these with the students. Once children have explored effective models of the skill, they should be given opportunities to practice it. They can either write new pieces or revise previous pieces of writing emulating the authors’ techniques.

Integrating “Sound” Instruction in Reading and Writing

Phonemic awareness and phonics are two of the pillars of reading. Without understanding the connection between sounds and letters, a person cannot read. The connection between reading and writing can help solidify these skills in young readers. Parents and teachers should help children “sound out” words in both their reading and writing. When a child comes to a word in their reading that is unfamiliar, the adult(s) working with her can model or guide her in sounding out the word using knowledge of phonemes (sound “chunks”). Similarly, if a child wants to write a new word the adult(s) can use the same technique to help her choose which letters to write. If the child is younger, accurate spelling is not as important as an understanding of the connection between particular sounds and letters. Therefore helping the child pick letters that approximate the spelling is more appropriate than providing him with the actual spelling. If the child is older and has an understanding of some of the unique variations in the English language (such as silent “e”), the parent or teacher should encourage him to use that knowledge to come up with the spelling of the word.

Choice in Reading and Writing

Another effective method for using the relationship between reading and writing to foster literacy development is simply giving children the choice in their reading and writing experiences. We learn best when we are motivated. If children are always told exactly what to read and what to write, they will eventually either come to see reading and writing as impersonal events or will “shut down”. Often in classrooms, teachers allow children to select their own books to read during independent reading time, but they rarely give them the opportunity to pick their own writing topics. In order to encourage ownership over their reading and writing, children should be given chances to read and write what is interesting and important to them.

Talk About It!

While it may seem like common sense to adults that reading and writing have a lot to do with each other, the connection is not always as apparent to young people. Parents and teachers should explain how the two skills reinforce and strengthen each other. Young people (especially adolescents) often ask their parents and teachers, “Why do I have to learn this?” Here is a perfect opportunity to show the relationship between two essential academic and life skills.


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    Open Document. As I began to reflect on my relationships with reading, writing, and speaking. I honestly can say I struggled in all areas but the relationship that really stands out the most to me is speaking. Speaking has always been a struggle for me, even now I struggle. I don't have much confidence as I should when it comes to public ...

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    Basically put: reading affects writing and writing affects reading. According to recommendations from the major English/Language Arts professional organizations, reading instruction is most effective when intertwined with writing instruction and vice versa. Research has found that when children read extensively they become better writers.

  14. My Relationship With Reading and Writing.

    My relationship with reading and writing started in primary school when teachers asked students to read texts and write stories. At first, reading and writing were challenging and boring for me because I didn't understand what I read and thought I wasn't good at writing. Over time, through practice writing essays and stories in school, my writing skills improved in areas like vocabulary ...

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    Personal Essay: My Relationship With Reading. 1181 Words5 Pages. Throughout my life I have had an interesting relationship with reading. I remember that when I first started learning to read I struggled a bit and absolutely dreaded it. Once I got the hang of things, I started to enjoy reading and would read at any chance I would get.

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    The conversational model points up the fact that writing occurs within the con- text of previous writing and advances the total sum of the discourse. Earlier com- ments provide subjects at issue, factual content, ideas to work with, and models of discourse appropriate to the subject. Later comments build on what came before and may, therefore ...

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    Essay. Pages: 4 (1326 words) · Bibliography Sources: 0 · File: .docx · Level: College Senior · Topic: Teaching. ¶ …. Narrative. My Relationship with Reading and Writing. It's spring of my kindergarten year. Everyone else knows all of their ABCs; many of my classmates were reading rudimentary picture books on their own and a few could ...

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    Around this time, I was going through a lot in my life. I stopped doing a lot of my bobbies, reading included. It wasn't until my last year of high school that my love for reading sparked again. During high school, reading wasn't part of my life anymore, expect for when I had school assignments that included readings.

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    604 Words. 3 Pages. Open Document. James Patterson perfectly sums up my lengthy, arduous, and ever-changing relationship with reading. "There is no such thing as a kid who hates reading. There are kids who love reading, and kids who are reading the wrong books." As I grow older, and come to appreciate the influence that words have over the ...

  21. Personal Essay: My Relationship With Writing

    Personal Essay: My Relationship With Writing. 896 Words4 Pages. My Relationship with Writing. The relationship I have with writing is that of a love and hate theme. Throughout elementary, middle, and high school, I developed a veiled understanding of what writing would relinquish if only I would take the time to learn to do it correctly.

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    Entertainment; Environment; Information Science and Technology; Social Issues; Home Essay Samples Education Literacy. Personal Literacy Narrative: My Relationship with Reading and

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