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This finding—that writing problems are more common than reading problems—is not surprising. Many of the reasons are straightforward. Here are five. (1) Virtually anyone with major reading problems will have writing problems. If you add to this the number of students with only writing problems you get a larger number. (2) In many respects, writing is more complex than reading as writing is expressive whereas reading is receptive. Reading is more a process of recognizing words and meaning whereas writing is more a process of creation. Anyone who tries to write an article knows it’s harder and more involved to write one than to read one. (3) Elementary, middle, and high schools ignore the underlying and sustaining causes of writing problems, such as learned helplessness and instruction that ignores the need to continually motivate students and to make them believe—accurately—that with moderate effort and quality instruction they can become competent writers who can use writing to communicate important information. (4) Most schools ignore the research on remedial writing instruction and use a random mishmash of approaches rather than systematically using methods with a strong scientific base, such as Self-Regulated Strategy Development (SRSD). (5) The diagnosis of writing problems, and thus the remediation, is often superficial, uninformed, and misdirected.

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