Table of Contents

Unit 1: Understanding and Teaching the Common Core Writing Standards

1.4 CCSS Impact on Writing Instruction

Time to Read

This section will focus on the following questions:


  • What are the key changes that the CCSS brings to ELA/Literacy, and how does that affect writing instruction?
  • Why are the three text types applied to every grade level?
  • Why doesn’t the CCSS list specific writing applications in the way the 1997 California ELA Content Standards did — friendly, personal, or formal letters, summaries, fictional narratives, persuasive compositions, historical investigation reports, etc.?

The answers to these questions are straightforward and direct. As discussed in the previous section, the CCSS calls for an increased emphasis on analytical writing. Every student, from Kindergarten through grade twelve, is expected to learn, refine, and produce written genres that exemplify the three text types: argument, informative/explanatory, and narrative. However, the focus for California’s students and teachers is not on producing a set of specific written forms or writing applications as it has been in the past. Rather, the focus is on developing writing skills and knowledge for a wide range of tasks, purposes, and audiences because that is what will build their capacity for college and career.

To be college- and career-ready writers, students must take task, purpose, and audience into careful consideration, choosing words, information, structures, and formats deliberately. They need to know how to combine elements of different kinds of writing — for example, to use narrative strategies within argument and explanation within narrative — to produce complex and nuanced writing."

CCSS Initiative, 2010