“Researchers found that students who wrote prolifically before high-stakes performances, like examinations and final papers, significantly improved their performance on their final work” (69).

Interestingly, in this study by Ramirez and Beilock (2011), as summarized by Gary R. Hafer in Embracing Writing, it didn’t matter whether students wrote about the subject matter or about their emotions and anxiety – what mattered was how frequently they wrote. Hafer makes a case for encouraging students in all disciplines to write every day for ten minutes.  This practice, he notes, always leads to greater fluidity and facility with the language; it can lead to more experimentation, reflection, planning and searching for ideas.  This aligns with new research on the advantages of frequent, short work over sporadic, lengthy sessions.

Hafer, Gary R. Embracing Writing: Ways to Teach Reluctant Writers in Any Course. Jossey-Bass. 2014.

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