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Citation: Anderson, Carl. (2005). Assessing Writers. Portsmouth, NH: Heinemann.

Title: Assessing Writers
Year: 2005
Publisher: Heinemann
City: Portsmouth, NH
Medium: Book
Author(s): Anderson, Carl
Grades: Third Grade to Eighth Grade
Category: Teaching the Writing Process Prewriting and Drafting Revision Mentor Authors and Illustrators and Mentor Texts
Annotation: Carl Anderson (2005) refers to prewriting as “rehearsal.” He doesn’t like the term “prewriting” because sometimes that stage actually involves lots of writing. Carl writes that he prefers the term “rehearsal” because “it suggests that writers, like actors preparing for the opening night of a play, have work to do to get ready to draft. Rehearsal involves two different kinds of work: finding topics to write about and developing a topic before starting a draft” (p. 110). He explores both of these challenges on pages 110-112. He discusses two ways in which writers “find their territories,” either by writing about their lives or by becoming knowledgeable about a topic. Like Lucy Calkins, he talks about how a writer’s notebook can become a way for writers to “develop their writing territories” (p. 111). Carl then writes about the second challenge of how to develop a “seed idea” and grow it into an actual draft. Again, a writer’s notebook can become a place to develop topic ideas. Writers may also want to gather information about a topic or study mentor texts in order to develop a vision for the type of writing they want to tackle.

Carl Anderson also includes both drafting and revising together in his section on pages 112-118 since he also recognizes the blurry line between the two aspects of composition. He discusses how most writers now draft and revise on the computer or laptop, which makes the line between drafting and revising even less distinct since it’s so easy to change a work, delete, and move text around on the computer. He shows how authors draw upon what they know of good writing and specific genres as they compose.