Writing-Reading Connection: Critical Thinking

Reading and writing are similar processes; they are both constructive (Pearson & Tierney, 1984). When individuals read they go through a process that is similar to writing (Tierney & Shanahan, 1991). The outcome of both reading and writing is that the individual constructs his or her own meaning. Given the similarities of these two processes, it is clear that they should be taught together (Tierney & Shanahan, 1991).

Although reading and writing are not identical processes, there are many reasons for teaching reading and writing together (Shanahan & Lomax, 1988). Research indicates that when reading and writing are taught together, students achieve better in both areas (Tierney & Shanahan, 1991). One of the most significant benefits is that students become better critical thinkers (Langer & Applebee, 1987). The types of activities that connect reading and writing and appear to lead to improved critical thinking are those that promote individual, personal responses to literature (Tierney & Shanahan, 1991).

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