What? or That! Reflections on Reports

Feb 25, 2016 | Posted by Andrew Pudewa

Do your students groan when you assign a report? Or do they get excited to research a topic they’re interested in? Most students would probably fall in the groaning camp, but is there a way to teach report writing that will actually engage students and spark enthusiasm? Keep reading to learn how.

In sixth grade or thereabouts, you had to write A REPORT. Searching for a subject that seemed moderately interesting, such as Japan or Betsy Ross, you went to the encyclopedia and began to browse. Typically, your finished report had to be three to four pages, plus illustrations, which seemed like a lot—really a lot. Japan beat out Betsy Ross, simply because there was more information available. In the back of your mind, you knew it wouldn’t be quite “kosher” to copy verbatim from the big book, but the unanswered question was this: How could you get information out of the encyclopedia and into your report without copying it?


Andrew Pudewa is the founder, principal speaker, and director of the Institute for Excellence in Writing. Presenting throughout North America, he addresses—with clarity, insight, practical experience, and welcome humor—issues relating to teaching, writing, thinking, spelling, and music. His seminars for parents, students, and teachers have helped transform many a reluctant writer and have equipped educators with powerful tools to dramatically improve students' skills.

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