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Minnesota Writing Project.Center for Writing's home page.

Minnesota Writing Project

The Minnesota Writing Project aims to improve K–college literacy in Minnesota. Housed within the Center for Writing at the University of Minnesota – Twin Cities, MWP is the local site of the National Writing Project, an authorized provider of No Child Left Behind.

Showcasing MWP teachers:

Much of what we read in the local education section of the newspaper describes shifting tests scores or school closings. It is infrequent that we are offered a peek into the mind and heart of teachers. Our new Teacher Showcase feature will give our recent ISI participants a chance to speak their mind about the teaching of writing and the need for quality professional development. Return often to read these profiles.

photo of teacherJessica Holte Emery
Grade you teach:
9-12 ELL
School: Henry Sibley High School
Summer Institute Writing: Encyclopedia of an Ordinary Food Life
Summer Institute Demonstration: Modeling Writing for Expression: Watermark Event Piece (.pdf file)

Reflections on teaching:
How has the MWP experience impacted your teaching? Participating in the Summer Institute was inspiring on so many levels. Professionally, as I was surrounded by passionate teachers who are all striving to continually become better and to learn from each other. Personally, as I had the great privilege of being part of a community of writers and exploring my own writing practice. This experience, as thoughtfully organized and meaningfully planned as they were, will greatly impact my teaching on both an inspirational and practical level.

What are your beliefs about writing?

—Students need to believe that they are writers, no matter their level of technical skill or perceived experience.
—Students need meaningful reasons to write.
—Students need to read others’ writing to become better writers.

book coverWhat is a book on writing or the teaching of writing that you would recommend (and why)? Write Like This, Kelly Gallagher: Gallagher relates in a conversational, straightforward tone his experiences in his own classroom.  The book is structured in a way that teachers can use it as a supplement or even a main component in their writing curriculum. His activities and lessons are meaningful, creative, and speak to the needs especially of high school students who need reason and motivation for writing.

book cover10 Things Every Writer Needs to Know, Jeff Anderson: This book is a great resource for teachers who are already teaching writing courses, as well as those who are creating a new course or curriculum and need a starting point. Through his descriptions of 10 “elements” of writing, Anderson puts a fresh spin on traditional ways of teaching writing. He includes numerous lesson and unit ideas, as well as practical resources (charts, reproducibles). He also devotes time in the book to relate the dialogue that happens between him and his students in the classroom, which is helpful in thinking about implementing his suggestions.


link to past showcases page

Believing that teachers can empower other teachers, members provide an environment in which teachers can learn from one another and then share that learning with others in their classrooms, departments, schools, and districts. MWP is committed to improving the literacy of all students, strengthening university and school collaboration on reading and writing instruction, and increasing the professional power of teachers in meeting state standards and the curricular demands of NCLB.


Identifies exemplary teachers who can teach other teachers

Encourages teachers to write

Assists schools and districts in identifying their literacy needs and supports them in meeting those needs through pertinent staff development

Supports long-term reform and improvement in literacy instruction through classroom-based, action research

Maintains partnerships between schools and the University

Promotes cultural, racial, and ethnic diversity and understanding within MWP

For additional information, see About MWP.


Muriel Thompson, Director

The Minnesota Writing Project is funded in part by the Center for Writing, the College of Liberal Arts at the University of Minnesota, and the National Writing Project.

Join us on Twitter link to MWP twitter page

We are still accepting applications for the 2015 Invitational Summer Institute. Please encourage good candidates to apply!

Assignments Matter Workshop, Wednesday, 5 August 2015

If you are a middle or high school teacher, you'll want to look into this free workshop.