To Write Is to Think

photo by A Journey Round My Skull

To write is to think,
and to write well is to think well.

David McCullough
quoted by Peggy Noonan
in A Cold Man’s Warm Words


3 responses to “To Write Is to Think

  • Tatiana

    That’s a wonderful quote! It reminded me of one by George Orwell that’s very similar: “If people cannot write well, they cannot think well.” Orwell had some great things to say about writing in an essay you can read at

    It will be too long and tedious for some of your students, but I’m guessing that some of your older, very intelligent pupils will appreciate it very much!

    I’m looking forward to more of your blogging lesson posts! Thanks for your inspiration!

  • TeacherMom

    Thank you for the link. I had seen parts of that article quoted before but never read the whole thing. I think I’ll file it away to reread on a regular basis, as a booster shot to keep me inoculated against that sort of writing.

    My guess would be that most writers have said similar things to this quote at some time or another. One of the most exciting things about writing is to see one’s thoughts come clearer and clearer with each draft.

    Students rarely appreciate this and hate to change a thing once they’ve put it on the page (or screen). Perhaps it is a mark of maturity as a writer when one starts to value revision?

  • Listener

    Revision requires effort. I don’t know if it’s maturity alone because it’s maybe also that the extra effort requires a more significant return on the investment for them. The student might not revise a school assignment, but if real money or their reputation was at stake, I bet they’d have no problem doing it.

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