LRS (The Little Red Schoolhouse)
is an approach to writing instruction that serves as the foundation
for all ENWR courses. LRS proceeds from a few core principles:
* Readers come to any text with a fairly predictable set of questions
and expectations. (These expectations vary somewhat according to
the community or discipline: literary critics v. behavioral psychologists
v. political scientists.)
* Effective writing anticipates and responds to these predictable
questions and expectations.
* In order to produce effective writing, good writers employ a fairly
predictable set of routines in order to plan, draft, revise, and
* Students who come to understand readerly expectations and writerly
routines produce more persuasive arguments more efficiently.
* Most students already have good intuitions about what readers want
and what writers do: our job is to help them articulate and define
those intuitions, so that they can more consciously control their
* Our teaching begins with intuition then proceeds to the principle.
* Students learn routines best by "over-learning" them;
that is, that is, by practicing until the routines are internalized
and students can produce them with minimal effort. Because reading
and writing are complicated tasks, it's best to break them down into
manageable pieces, or sub-routines, for students.
* Once students are comfortable with the routine, they can learn
and practice techniques for manipulating their writing to produce
a range of effects.