Blog has functional new home

All the posts I’ve made at my old you-can-teach-writing website and the more recent ones at  the blog are now at

PushWriting provides two services that blogging at YCTWriting didn’t have:

  • email delivery of blog posts
  • search for finding specific content within the posts

As I write this, PushWriting is still an old template that doesn’t resize to fit tablets and phone screens. I hope to resolve that issue within a couple days and get back to concentrating on topics related to teaching writing.

With a little luck, by the first Friday in May, all that techie stuff will be done, and I can get back to teaching writing again.

My teaching writing program has new home.

At long last,  my old website you-can-teach-writing has been reborn as

YCTWriting home page header has pointing finger and message You Can Teach Writing.

This baby is smaller, more focused, and crafted specifically for experienced teachers who want a simple-to-learn, simple-too-teach method build to withstand changes in textbooks, technologies, and revised state standards.

I built to equip folks who feel inadequately prepared to teach writing to teens or adult students but have to do it anyway — folks like me my first time teaching writing (only smarter and better looking).

What’s at

a poster of the 8 sentences that comprise all expository writers must master.
All students must master these 8 writing strategies.

1. Simple procedures for teachers.  My detailed statement of everything you need to teach students so that they can write expository texts consists of 10 sentences. It’s fewer than 150 words total.

2. Simple procedures for students. Everything teens and adult students need to do to write expository nonfiction is distilled into eight sentences, totaling 35 words.

3. A recognition that simple doesn’t mean easy. My method of  teaching writing is simple, but it’s not easy.

As a teacher, you can’t teach writing and teach all the units and lessons you’re used to using. Before you can start teaching writing, you have to select what is essential for you to teach along with writing. That means you have to do the educational equivalent of clearing out the house Gramma lived in for 87 years.

Your students’ role isn’t easy either. Learning what to do — memorizing the eight sentences and learning what they mean — is just the beginning. Just like the basketball players who learn, “Put the ball in the basket,”  the writers who learn, “Make a thesis statement” still have a lot to learn before they can implement that procedure.

What’s not at

I’ve omitted pages on grammar, punctuation, usage, syntax, and style, which were part of my first site. Isn’t necessary to teach classes in those topics as part of teaching writing. In fact, those topics can actually hold students back from learning the bigger issues of writing.

I’ve also moved most of the discussion of writing prompts to a dedicated site, That is not useful to  teachers until they’ve mastered the instructional strategies and writing strategies I teach at, and teachers who don’t teach writing per se can use writing prompts for teaching.

How YCTWriting will affect this blog’s readers

Sooner or later, I will be move back issues of this blog to  YCTWriting.

My intended redirect did not work at all. After a year of trying to make it work, I returned to hosting again.

My new site host presently allows for people to subscribe to blogs via RSS but not via email. I have to see if I can’t figure out a work-around for subscribers who get the blog posts by email.

I’ll let you know what’s happening before I move the blog posts and do my best to make it easy for you to sign up again if that’s required.

updated 2019-04-14

Getting back in the saddle

When I closed my “you can teach writing” website, I thought I would take some time off before picking up the pieces and trying again.

I didn’t think it would take this long.

Once I got away from working on the site every day, I didn’t have a reason to keep up with the technology needed for website work.

But the tech world didn’t wait for me.

When I was ready to get back in the saddle, I couldn’t reach the stirrups any more.

The software problem: directions

I’m struggling to learn new software and encountering the usual difficulty that accompanies technology: its directions.

Sometimes the directions are vague.

Sometimes they’re so detailed they make the head spin.

Sometimes they don’t exist at all.

The student problem: teachers

The wonderful thing about bad directions is that they force teachers to recognize that someone who isn’t learning is not necessarily lazy, stupid, or unmotivated.

That’s not an earth-shaking revelation, but it’s a fact every teacher needs to remember.

The problem of the kid in the fourth seat in the third row just might be the teacher at the front of the room.

New websites in development

I’m going to split content from my old website into three smaller sites.

Currently, I’m working on a slimmed down version of my original  you-can-teach-writing site. I’ve even slimmed down its URL to It will focus on the least teachers need to know to teach nonfiction writing, and the 10 strategies teens and adult students need to know to write nonfiction texts competently. will be a site about how to help students master essential writing mechanics (grammar, punctuation, usage, spelling, and style) without worksheets and drills. will focus use of formal and informal writing prompts as teaching materials, not just as “writing tests.”

Keep an eye on this blog for details about when launches. You can get posts by email or RSS if you sign up below the search box in the right hand column.