There is little that demands that all the instruction be given by a single teacher. In fact the supplementation of writing instruction directly from a teacher by a timeline program that guided progress of a package/driven writing assignment could be very fruitful.
Fisher & Frey point out that students often benefit in unexpected ways from processes such as journaling, (Fisher & Frey, 2003, p. 396) which can bee seen as a first brainstorming session, where students express their ideas and then narrow their ideas to a single topic. (Steele, 2008, NP) if the process of writing was more guided and offered both intrinsic and extrinsic rewards, such as the scoring and direct interaction functions of the Steele proposal more writing would likely take place in a functional way. Another manner in which to motivate students in a systematic writing style is through the utilization of portfolio compilation. (Campbell, 2002, p. 42) Though Steele does not specifically mention this as an aspect of her writing timeline the process could serve as a basis for the development of a record of writing progress, from brainstorming to 1st draft to final revision. Each of these stages is a demonstrative and insightful example of the "system" or "process" that culminates to make a final writing piece. Campbell expresses the overall success of a writing course directed through portfolio production;
Overall, the level of enthusiasm was very high, both inside and outside the classroom. The course was a joy to teach, as students seemed very focused and keen to learn and to produce the best documents they could. The amount of staff-student interaction outside of class in relation to the production of the documents also showed that students took their portfolios seriously. (Campbell, 2002, p. 42)
Process writing is an essential aspect of learning to break down the writing task into functional segments. Steele's writing instruction guide demonstrates a very basic but clear example of how "process" writing can be conducted.
Reviewing or critiquing anything would be limited without at least one possible negative aspect of the work. Within the Mayfield Handbook of Technical and Science Writing is a single possible aspect of the Steele method of writing timeline development that could challenge a writer and that is the idea of recursive, versus linear writing processes. Writing processes must be recursive in that at any given point an individual must be able to return to an earlier aspect of the writing process and make changes. ("The Writing Timeline," 2001, NP) the Steele guide may give the student the impression that stages are discrete as they have been turned in and assessed by the instructor. Resolving this possible conflict would be the simple development of a clear instruction to return to the work, possibly as homework and make any needed changes as a precursor to moving on to the next stage of writing. Overall, the Steele writing timeline guide is a strong application of writing instruction emphasis that if applied by many instructors would greatly improve the writing skill and score of students.
Campbell, N. (2002). Getting Rid of the Yawn Factor: Using a Portfolio Assignment to Motivate Students in a Professional Writing Class. Business Communication Quarterly, 65(3), 42.
Fisher, D., & Frey, N. (2003). Writing Instruction for Struggling Adolescent Readers: A Gradual Release Model Because New Accountability Systems Focus on Writing, Struggling Students Need Daily, Coordinated Instruction That Is Meaningful. Journal of Adolescent & Adult Literacy, 46(5), 396.
Kuriloff, P.C. (2004). Rescuing Writing Instruction: How to Save Time & Money with Technology. Liberal Education, 90(4), 36.
The Mayfield Handbook of Technical and Science Writing (2001) "The Writing Timeline" Retrieved April 12, 2008 at http://www.mhhe.com/mayfieldpub/tsw/wt.htm
Patthey-Chavez, G.G., Matsumura, L.C., & Valdes, R. (2004). Investigating the Process Approach to Writing Instruction in Urban Middle Schools. Journal of Adolescent & Adult Literacy, 47(6), 462.
Rio Salado College Online (2008) "The Process of Writing" Retrieved April 12, 2008 at http://www.rio.maricopa.edu/distance_learning/tutorials/study/writing.shtml
Steele, Kimberly (2008) "Writing Process Timeline" Retrieved April 12, 2008 at http://www.kimskorner4teachertalk.com/writing/writingprocess/timeline.html