Cover of report Writing to Read

Writing to Read: Evidence for How Writing Can Improve Reading, a report from the Carnegie Corporation of New York, was written by Steve Graham and Michael Hebert of Vanderbilt University and published by the Alliance for Excellent Education.

As stated in the Executive Summary (p.4), this report provides evidence to support teachers of writing in answering three key questions:

  1. Does writing about material they've read enhance students' reading comprehension?
  2. Does the teaching of writing strengthen students’ reading skills?
  3. Does increasing how much students write improve how well they read?

The report identifies writing practices that research has found to be effective in increasing students reading skills and comprehension. For quick reference, jump to:

  • Summaries of three core recommendations (p.5, p.11)
  • Details for the three core recommendations (pp. 13–21)
  • Suggestions for putting the recommendations into practice (pp. 24–26).

From the Conclusion (p.29):

"This study shows that students’ reading abilities are improved by writing about texts they have read; by receiving explicit instruction in spelling, in writing sentences, in writing paragraphs, in text structure, and in the basic processes of composition; and by increasing how much and how frequently they write.

Our evidence shows that these writing activities improved students’ comprehension of text over and above the improvements gained from traditional reading activities such as reading text, reading and rereading text, reading and discussing text..."

Writing to Read: Evidence for How Writing Can Improve Reading is downloadable from several sites: 

Topic Area: 
ABE/Adult Education
Media Type: 
Resource Type: 
Research/Evidence-Based Practice
PD Center: 


SABES English Language Arts Curriculum and Instruction PD Center