Writing to Learn

"Explain to a friend who has just begun a course in organic chemistry how to write the mechanism for a reaction." - Joseph W. Wilson.


Writing is a way of learning. Why do we need to learn it? It's an essential skill that helps us manifest our ideas. In 1994, Joseph Wilson wrote a paper1 describing his experiment, which taught his students how to write their assignments. Wilson used writing to learn to encourage his students to express their thoughts. Writing is not easy because you must read a lot about the subject to digest it and then organize your thoughts when you start writing.


Similarly, Ronald P. Stuart asked his students to choose their elements and write their own stories.2 Both Wilson and Stuart had noticed deficiencies in their students' writing. I don't think that most students understand how writing can influence their lives. They need an environment that helps them embrace their self-doubt and allows them to open their minds so that they can write a story, not a report.


References:

1 J. W. Wilson, 1994, 71, 1019–1020.

2 R. P. Stout, 2010, 87, 1163–1165.