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Slow Writing: how slowing down can improve your writing - David Didau: The Learning Spy. NB – my latest thinking on Slow Writing can be found here. Exam season is nearly upon us and English departments across the land will be gearing up to the Herculean labour of training students to churn out essays which, they hope, will earn them the much coveted A*-C grade in English Language.

The AQA paper gives candidates just a meagre hour to write a short descriptive, explanatory piece and then a longer piece which asks them to persuade and argue. This isn’t much time and most students default position is to race into it, cram in as much verbiage as possible and then down tools to watch the clock tick away the purgatory of the exam hall. This is not a great strategy for producing great writing.

So, we teach them to plan (of which there’s a fine example from Lisa Janes Ashes here) and to proofread in the hope that maybe, just maybe they’ll approach their writing more thoughtfully and produce something that won’t make the poor examiner groan in anguished suffering. Here’s how it works.