STMA Writing Manual

About the Authors


About STMA Writing Manual:


This writing manual is designed to accomplish one thing: to help students become better writers and to give teachers additional resources to facilitate student learning.


Writing across the curriculum is a strong focus of the Common Core Standards, which are Minnesota's new graduation standards. What this means to both students and teachers is that writing will be a part of nearly every subject area. Because writing is a prominent form of assessment in all subject areas in higher education, a highly effective way for students to demonstrate their learning, an essential way to promote critical thinking, and a vital workplace skill students need to continue to develop effective writing skills in all classes. With the added emphasis on writing, teachers and students will need as many resources available to them as possible.


This manual is set up to assist teachers, students, and parents in understanding the writing process better by doing the following:



1. Providing basic instruction and explanation of the writing process.

2. Providing formatting tools and answers to frequently asked questions.

3. Understanding the value of written communication skills.

4. Promoting the importance of communicating student learning through writing in all content areas.



1. Helping teachers to use consistent language when teaching.

2. Helping teachers to develop consistent evaluation practices.

3. Providing information on best practices for writing instruction.

4. Promoting the importance of communicating student learning through writing in all content areas.



1. Gaining insight on both the instructional process and the learning process as it pertains to writing.

2. Providing tools that you can use to help your child at home.



Students and parents are encouraged to view the teaching resources in this book as well. Understanding what your teacher is trying to accomplish is a valuable strategy as you approach any writing assignment. Likewise, teachers are encouraged to try some of the strategies that your students will be working with throughout their schooling in order to model them during instruction or to help anticipate difficulties that the writing process will entail.



Much of what this manual contains is within the realm of what is laid out in the Common Core Standards (Minnesota's Graduation Standards) , which require writing across the content area in 3 different "Text Types" or "Writing Types." The types of writing specifically addressed in the manual are Expository, Persuasive, and Narrative. 





3 Writing Types-Expository, Argumentative, and Narrative


Research Papers - A Guide to Citing Sources in MLA Formatting


What is Effective Writing


Teacher Resources (parents and students welcome!)


Teaching and Evaluating Writing for Teachers (Great for parents and students to see, too!)


      -Designing Assessments and Creating Writing Prompts 


      -Teaching Successful Pre-Writing and Writing Strategies 


      -Evaluating Writing and Providing Feedback


                 -Evaluating Writing


               -Creating Rubrics


                 -Providing Effective Feedback


Student Resources:


       - Research Papers and MLA Formatting.pdf  Printable MLA Formatting Guide: (Click link and click again to enlarge/download image)


       -Tips for Writing Good Papers  8 Steps to improve your performance on writing assignments.


       -Tips for Writing for Essay Tests, Timed Essays, and Other In-Class Writings (Coming soon!)


        -Grammar Tools  Links for students looking to practice and learn more about grammar. 



For Parents:


Welcome, Parents! You are invited to any part of this manual. The number one way that you can support your child's learning is to be involved in his or her education. This manual is a way for you to see things as both your child will see them throughout his or her education as well as how your teacher will be approaching writing instruction. This manual will be a work in progress as it will eventually include links to other resources and video lessons that demonstrate different writing skills.