ADAPT Program -- Accent on Developing Abstract Processes of Thought


Date of this Version

October 1982


As someone who teaches composition regularly and who is always aware of and interested in his students' writing, I have come to think that the most serious problem students have with their writing is a general inability to structure their thoughts with logical clarity and rhetorical skill. Not commas or parallel structure or sentence fragments. Organization. I have written notes to students by the hundreds about this problem, and sometimes the papers come back to me with a much clearer organizational pattern. All too often, however, they are returned lovingly with the commas in the right places, a one-sentence opening paragraph stating a thesis, and a conclusion about structural problems and have been greeted, mostly, with sage nods behind which perches blank incomprehension. My reading of Piaget and his commentators, however, has led me to what seems to be a valid explanation of some organizational weaknesses in student writing and to the construction of a classroom exercise which begins to help students overcome them.