A lot of the information I have is mostly lesson-plan-ish. (Collegiate, so more informal than many public schools require.) When I was a new instructor, I was always googling for good ways to present information. Info aimed at instructors (not students) was rare but appreciated.

Would Questions focused on teaching writing be accepted in writing.SE?


  • How do I teach how to paraphrase?
  • How do you guide productive peer-critique?
  • What are the main ideas about citation you want to communicate to students?

Academia.SE seems more focused on professors focused on research or graduate students focused on post-docs and etiquette issues: almost like the Workplace.SE, but for one type of workplace, which is why I thought they might be a good fit here. If not, no worries, but I wanted to check first.

  • 1
    I wouldn't know how to answer your first example. The fundamental skill to paraphrasing seems to be cognitive (having a high level of verbal intelligence), and that cannot be trained, and beyond that it's just practice (i.e. let students paraphrase until they feel comfortable with it). The other two examples are easy enough to answer and seem on topic on the site.
    – user37583
    Mar 30, 2019 at 11:21
  • There's a 5 step procedure I used (college students) that seemed to work. Mar 30, 2019 at 19:47

2 Answers 2


Such questions are on-topic.

For example there has been the meta discussion Are questions about teaching writing on-topic?. Not much "discussion", but no single downvote on the question and answer. It's the only discussion I could find, so nothing that would point towards not allowing this topic.

The Help Center, specifically the page What topics can I ask about here? says:

If you have questions about writing techniques, style, usability/readability, planning and organizing, research techniques, publishing, and related topics, your questions are welcome here.

Teaching "writing" is definitely related. It's also nowhere in the no-no categories.

I couldn't find a whole lot of questions on the main site about teaching. One example is On writing an essay, what are some good techniques to teach to schoolchildren?, which seems to be the closest to what you are asking. This was well-received at the time.

Another example would be Should IKEA assembly instructions be used as positive examples to train technical writers?, which is relatively recent when compared with the other example and was also well-received.

Another thing to keep in mind is that a question is not off-topic just because it could be on-topic somewhere else. I am not completely sure if Workplace or Academia would accept such questions, but even if they did this is no reason to deem them off-topic here. While it's good to think about how we differentiate this site from other sites on the network we should judge questions based on how they fit our scope. And I don't see anything in our current scope definition that would say that such questions are off-topic.

All in all I'd say that such questions are on-topic and should be encouraged. I think they are valuable for people learning about the topics and for people teaching the topics. More expert knowledge surrounding everything related to writing is good for the site. This is a place to exchange knowledge about writing after all.

  • Do we have/should we have a tag indicating "teaching" or "instruction"? Mar 27, 2019 at 14:17
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    @April We have education, though that seems to be currently used more for the "Where can I learn about XYZ?" or "Do I need formal education?" types of questions. It could be good to add a tag about teaching. You can just add it when you ask a question about something in that regard (a tag wiki would be nice, too) and then someone can re-tag the two questions I linked here. "teaching" would probably be better. That's easier to find when you are asking how to teach someone something than "instruction".
    – Secespitus
    Mar 27, 2019 at 14:24
  • 4
    In creating a new tag, please keep in mind the distinction between teaching and instructional materials. They overlap, but, for example, I don't think I'd expect to see the same tag for a question about teaching critique techniques and a question about text-to-graphics ratios in slides. Mar 27, 2019 at 14:39
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    @MonicaCellio We already have training-materials for that.
    – Secespitus
    Mar 27, 2019 at 14:40
  • 3
    Oh, good! So if there's a new tag for teaching/training techniques, we probably just want to cross-reference them in the wikis. Mar 27, 2019 at 14:45

If you want to share something about teaching, you can write a question and answer it yourself; that is permitted here. You may get other answers with different ideas there as well.

It seems on topic to me; the 'teaching' tag sounds good too.

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