Formulaic Writing

The idea of formulaic writing has always been something that I am on the fence about if I am being honest. As a student, having a structured formula was an aspect of writing that I relied on. Not in the sense that I could not write without it. I just felt more comfortable having a guide, especially when I was younger. I struggled with organizing my thoughts. I always had so much to say and it was sometimes confusing because there was no structure. Once I learned how to create structured pieces that is when my writing improved. I would not have learned that without the help of writing formulas that my teacher introduced.

As a teacher and just as an adult in general I can see how formulaic writing is not beneficial to students. It could turn into something they rely on. Even in my own classroom I have students everyday that question how long a writing assignment should be or how many sentences in a paragraph. It has gotten to the point where I do not even answer anymore. I tell them to write as much as they feel they need to answer the prompt correctly. Part of me completely understands where they are coming from though. They live in a world where they are not learning to be more knowledgeable, they are learning to make the grade. So how could you really blame them? Personally, I cant be the teacher that pounds into her kids head that making the grade is the most important thing. So I try to keep their creative juices flowing with small quickwrites that they do not have requirements for. But this makes me think, can we actually get away from formulaic writing? Is that even possible? Is it beneficial? And if not then what else do we do ?