Writing Matters

Module titleWriting Matters
Module codeEFPM012Z1
Academic year2019/0
Module staff

Professor Debra Myhill (Convenor)

Number students taking module (anticipated)


Description - summary of the module content

Module description

This descriptor covers all launch dates.

Writing matters! On a personal level, students who can write confidently can express their deepest feelings, communicate their own ideas and emotions with passion and feeling, and argue for the things that matter deeply to them.  At the same time, being a successful writer is educationally critical: writing remains the dominant form of educational assessment, and is a key tool for learning and thinking.  Yet in many international educational jurisdictions, students’ progress in writing lags behind their achievement in reading.  This module draws on inter-disciplinary understandings of writing as a cognitive process, as a social practice, and as linguistic mastery to develop your understanding of writing, being a writer, and teaching writing.

Module aims - intentions of the module

The principal aim of this module is to enable you to develop a stronger theoretical understanding of writing and the teaching of writing which will have a direct impact on your own professional practices and on your own understanding of being a writer.


Specifically, the module aims to address the following questions:

  • What do we know about the writing process and how we write?
  • Can you make connections between theoretical models of the writing process and your own experiences?
  • Can you articulate an effective pedagogy for writing?
  • What is your own sense of ‘being a writer’ or being a ‘teacher as writer’
  • Is there a role for grammar in the teaching of writing?
  • What is the relationship between talk and writing?

Intended Learning Outcomes (ILOs)

ILO: Module-specific skills

On successfully completing the module you will be able to...

  • 1. demonstrate a critical understanding of theoretical models of the writing process
  • 2. critically evaluate different disciplinary perspectives of writing and the teaching of writing
  • 3. demonstrate a critical understanding of the craft of writing and what it means to ‘be a writer’

ILO: Discipline-specific skills

On successfully completing the module you will be able to...

  • 4. consider and critically reflect on ideas concerning the relationship between educational theory, research, policy and practice
  • 5. critically reflect upon and evaluate your own understanding of current issues and debates in education and those of others

ILO: Personal and key skills

On successfully completing the module you will be able to...

  • 6. synthesise and organise ideas to present an argument;
  • 7. present ideas and engage in critical reflective debate.
  • 8. undertake both directed and independent study to recognise, justify and analyse key ideas in the literature and relate these to research, theory, policy and practice

Syllabus plan

Syllabus plan

Whilst the module’s precise content may vary from year to year, it is envisaged that the syllabus will cover the following topics:

  • Theoretical models of the writing process
  • The role of grammar as choice in the teaching and execution of writing
  • The concept of metalinguistic understanding and its significance in writing
  • The craft of writing, creative writing, and ‘being a writer’

Learning and teaching

Learning activities and teaching methods (given in hours of study time)

Scheduled Learning and Teaching ActivitiesGuided independent studyPlacement / study abroad

Details of learning activities and teaching methods

CategoryHours of study timeDescription
Scheduled Learning and Teaching Activities4812 x 4 hours per week of online seminars (weeks 1-6; 8-13)
Guided independent study3Completion of prior knowledge and experience audit
Guided Independent Study48Preparatory work for taught seminars (including reading; research tasks; collaborative tasks)
Guided independent study101Completion of directed study tasks integral to the taught seminars.
Guided Independent Study20Completion of formative assignment tasks
Guided Independent Study80Completion of summative assignment tasks


Formative assessment

Form of assessmentSize of the assessment (eg length / duration)ILOs assessedFeedback method
Concept map of key ideas and inter-relationships in theoretical models of writing1,000 equivalent1, 2, 5, and 7Written
Critical synthesis of reading into 3-4 paragraphs1,0001, 2 ,3 and 6Written

Summative assessment (% of credit)

CourseworkWritten examsPractical exams

Details of summative assessment

Form of assessment% of creditSize of the assessment (eg length / duration)ILOs assessedFeedback method
Critical evaluation of portfolio of creative writing301,5002,3,5,6,7Written and grade
Linguistic analysis of writing 603,0001,4,5,6,7Written and grade
Engagement log105008Written and grade


Details of re-assessment (where required by referral or deferral)

Original form of assessmentForm of re-assessmentILOs re-assessedTimescale for re-assessment
Critical evaluation of portfolio of creative writingReflective writing2,3,5,6,7 4 weeks
Linguistic analysis of writing Research analysis1,4,5,6,7 4 weeks
Engagement logEngagement log84 weeks


Indicative learning resources - Basic reading

Basic reading:

Beard, R   (2000) Developing Writing 3-13   London: Hodder and Stoughton

Cremin, T and Myhill, D.A. (2012) Writing Voices: Creating Communities of Writers  London: Routledge

Dymoke,  S. Lambirth, A. and Wilson, A.  (2013) Making Poetry Matter: international research on poetry pedagogy London: Bloomsbury Academic

Fisher, R. Jones, S. Larkin, S. and Myhill, D.  (2010) Using Talk to Support WritingLondon: Sage

Graham, S., & Perin, D. (2007). Writing next: Effective strategies to improve writing of adolescents in middle and high schools – A report to Carnegie Corporation of New York. Washington, DC: Alliance for Excellent Education.

Hillocks, G  (2006)  Research in Writing, Secondary School 1984-2003 L1 Educational Studies in Languages and Literature 6 (2) 27-51

Kellogg, Ronald. T  (1994) The Psychology of Writing   Oxford: Oxford University Press

Myhill, D.A and Wilson, A.C.  (2013) Playing it safe: Teachers’ views of creativity in poetry writing  Thinking Skills and Creativity  10: 101– 111  

Myhill, D.A.  Jones, S and Watson, A. (2013)  Grammar Matters: How Teachers’ Grammatical Subject Knowledge Impacts on the Teaching of Writing Teaching and Teacher Education 36:77-91  

Smith, J and Elley, W  (1998) How Children Learn to Write  London: Longman

Indicative learning resources - Web based and electronic resources

ELE http://vle.exeter.ac.uk/

Module has an active ELE page

Key words search

Education; Education studies; global issues in education; debates in education

Credit value30
Module ECTS


Module pre-requisites


Module co-requisites


NQF level (module)


Available as distance learning?


Origin date


Last revision date