Authentic Lessons for 21st Century Learning

Quick Write

Daniel Schwarz | Published: February 12th, 2021 by K20 Center


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Quick Write

The purpose of this strategy is to encourage students to write as much as they can about a topic over the course of a few minutes without concern for grammar, punctuation, or spelling.

Quick Write


The Quick Write strategy enables students to write quickly without having to worry about grammar or punctuation. Quick Writes can encompass a variety of topics in a short amount of time. The process encourages students to focus on content without being impeded by anxieties about correctness. This process also enables students to connect current learning to prior knowledge. Quick Writes can be used at any point during a lesson.


  1. Invite students to participate in a Quick Write about a particular topic. Assure students that the objective of this activity is to focus on the content of their writing for the duration of the Quick Write. They should set aside any concerns about grammar and punctuation to write as much as they can about the assigned topic.

  2. Have students take out their laptops and/or paper and pens/pencils. Let students know how much time they will have to complete the Quick Write. The activity should last somewhere between 2 and 10 minutes, depending on the length of the lesson and the amount of time you want to commit to the assignment.

  3. Before starting the timer, encourage students to be creative and free to express themselves. Students should write down as much content as they can regarding the particular topic.

  4. Set a timer to start the Quick Write and announce to students as the countdown begins. Let them know that when the timer goes off, they can finish any sentence they have begun, but the official writing time is over. If you have decided on a longer writing time (over five minutes or so), be sure to let students know when the timer has passed the halfway point. This way, students can pace themselves.

  5. Once the Quick Write is finished, you may want to provide students with the option of sharing their thoughts either in small groups or with the whole class.

Optionally, a Quick Write can be used as draft material for longer writing assignments. A series of Quick Writes can also be turned into a journal.

Lakehead University Teaching Commons. (n.d.). Before, during, or after reading—Reflection quick write.