Choice. Writing is balancing, making choices while considering audience, purpose, occasion.
I need help with paraphrasing this one:
Writing is balancing, making choices while considering audience, purpose, occasion. The rhetorical situation has been at the core of writing instruction forever, and yet much of the writing we ask developing writers to do keeps them from fully wrestling with those choices because we strap on the training wheels and never take them off.
For me, the key to changing this is to make writing more engaging in every sense of the word, to require students to make meaning about subjects that are meaningful to them, to create stakes that go beyond assessments that mostly measure how good students are at passing an assessment.
What we do should reflect what we value. If we value writers who can communicate, we should be doing things very differently.