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Voice Matters

Jacques Steinberg, an education correspondent for The New York Times, appeared on “The Today Show” yesterday morning.  He talked with Natalie Morales about college essays that worked and didn’t work at some of the nation’s most prestigious colleges.  There were three commonalities I immediately recognized in the essays that worked.  First, the well-written essays had a clear voice.  Second, the well-written excerpts Steinberg showed contained relevant details that helped readers to envision what was being described.  Third, the authors chose precise words to convey their message.

When we teach writing, especially to elementary school students, we rarely think about preparing them to write their college essay, which is one of the most important pieces of writing they’ll be judged on in their lives.  However, the next time you’re conferring with your kiddos, think about a teaching point that will develop their voice in their writing.  It matters, as you’ll notice when you read the samples Steinberg sahred.

Click here to watch the video of the Steinberg interview and to read the essay samples.

Stacey Shubitz View All

I am a literacy consultant who has spent the past dozen years working with teachers to improve the teaching of writing in their classrooms. While I work with teachers and students in grades K-6, I'm a former fourth and fifth-grade teacher so I have a passion for working with upper elementary students.

I'm the author of Craft Moves (Stenhouse Publishers, 2016) and the co-author of Jump Into Writing (Zaner-Bloser, 2021), Welcome to Writing Workshop (Stenhouse Publishers, 2019), and Day By Day (Stenhouse, 2010).

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