That is the challenging question. Students ask parents, relatives, faculty and college teachers that question. The results?
Quote: “Students generally thought good writing was simply writing that had no grammatical errors. Many students added they felt they were not good writers because of the feedback on errors they had been given by their teachers over the years. Even though the interview activity led Reesha, a junior to exclaim, ‘Good writing is as controversial as the topic of boys!’ It also raised a number of great questions…. Why are ideas about good writing so different? Why do teachers assign types of writing they don’t like? How do you know when to write about for whom?” p. 58.
Comment: This question reminds me of another. I once asked a colleague why he did not teach writing. He said, “My students can’t even writ a good sentence.” What is a good sentence? RayS.
Title: “They Can Get There from Here: Teaching for Transfer Through a ‘Writing about Writing’ Course.” J Wells. English Journal (November 2011), 57-68.