Students on a Bench
At The Write Turn®, it is our mission to offer quality instruction to educators and students by providing the strategies and tools needed to improve students' skills and develop more proficient writers.


The Author

Cindy Sherman Cindy Sherman is the founder and CEO of The Write Turn. She is a speech-language pathologist with a doctorate in special education. Cindy is trained in various reading intervention programs and uses a more language-based approach when helping students improve their phonological awareness, reading comprehension, and written language skills. As a speech-language pathologist, Cindy serviced students with expressive and receptive language deficits and developed a specific interest and expertise in written language. While volunteering and working in a number of public and private schools across Washington, DC and Maryland, Cindy observed the number of students who struggled with written language and realized the need for more explicit strategy instruction in the classroom.

Cindy developed an evidence-based writing program that teaches students of all achievement levels -- high performing students to students with learning differences -- planning, writing, and revising strategies that improve the quality of their essays.

In 2003, Cindy was offered a fellowship at the University of Maryland where she began her doctoral research. With continued research and practice, Cindy developed an evidence-based writing program and founded the The Write Turn®. Her program teaches students how to revise their essays and helps students of all ability levels become more proficient writers.

Cindy has written articles on the effectiveness of her strategy instruction in writing, including A Strategic Approach to Writing and Revision for Students with Learning Disabilities; The Effects of Strategy Instruction with A CDO Procedure in General Education Settings; Revising Strategy Instruction in Inclusive Settings: Effects for English Learners and Novice Writers; Self-regulated Strategy Development for Teaching Writing; and FIX: A Strategic Approach to Revision For Academically and Linguistically Diverse Learners. Cindy has also written a chapter entitled "Technology to Facilitate the General Education Curriculum" for Communication Technology for Students in Special Education or Gifted Programs.

Cindy holds a B.S. in Communications and Psychology from the University of New Mexico, an M.S. in Speech-Language Pathology from the University of the District of Columbia, and a Ph.D. in Special Education from the University of Maryland.

Teacher with Students

Written language is a difficult skill to teach because it is such a complex form of communication and the result of multiple interactive processes.

Regardless of their achievement level, students who struggle with written language, can improve the quality of their written language with explicit instruction and assistance in planning, writing, and revising.

According to the 2017 National Assessment of Education Progress report, an overwhelming majority of students in grades 8 and 12 performed at or below the basic level on a nationally representative writing assessment. The statistics are even more alarming for English language learners (ELL) and students with disabilities (LD/ED). A consistent pattern has been observed since 1998: of those students who performed at an advanced writing level (3%), only 1-2% could write a persuasive essay at an advanced level. It is also important to note that students who are classified as basic writers in high school are often considered "poor" writers in college.

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