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The Teacher Tip

Determining the Writer's True Intention

January 10, 2018

Adapted from Reimagining Writing Assessment by Maja Wilson.

How are the writer’s intentions engaged throughout the writing process?

  • What motivated the act of writing?
  • What was the interplay between internal and external (and intrinsic and extrinsic) motivations?
  • What influenced the writer’s intentions as she wrote?
  • How were big and small decisions influenced by the writer’s intentions?

How does the writer use her sense of audience to make decisions throughout the writing process?

  • What is the author’s relationship with readers – and her understanding of them?
  • How does the writer’s relationship with her audience (self and others, real and imagined) affect her writing process, in positive and negative ways?
  • How does the writer negotiate her relationship with the audience to solve problems, push forward, or revise?

What’s the writer’s relationship with the medium – its nature, characteristics, limitations, and possibilities? 

  • In what ways does the writer notice and respond to the nature of the medium?
  • How does the writer struggle with the limitations of the medium – and what results from that struggle?
  • How does the writer let the medium’s limitations and possibilities shape her intentions and decisions as she writes? 

To learn more about Reimagining Writing Assessment and to download a sample chapter, visit

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