5 quick tips to help your students improve their writing
The global literacy rate is around 85%, yet writing is a problem for a greater part of students. If students are unable to write well and communicate in an appropriate fashion, not only will their educational prospects be limited, but their professional and job prospects also. As educators, it really is our responsibility and duty to assist students to write well, and we can always use more tips to help in this ongoing endeavour to empower students as they master the written word.
Compared to that end, here are my top 5 tips to help students with writing.
1. Spend time regarding the main idea: Whether you are having students write thesis-driving persuasive essays or simple TedTalks or a book review (all templates available on EssayJack), their writing will centre around a main idea. In each context, the more specific and precise that main idea is, the better the writing about that idea would be. Have students do activities with adjectives and word choice to ensure that their “main idea” uses the absolute most precise and specific diction possible. For-instance, in case a student writes about anything being “upsetting,” it becomes more precise and specific if we know whether “upset” is used here to denote anger or frustration or sadness or embarrassment. If students spend more time getting their “main idea” as precise as you can, then that does half the work of getting them thinking through the implications of that main idea. 2. Always, always outline: Once your students have worked through their “main idea” to make it as precise and specific as they can, you then should have them come up with a rough outline. How will they support/explain/examine/illustrate their “main idea”? What evidence or sub points will they raise to help bring out the details of that main idea. For-instance, if they are writing about anything being “upsetting” (in addition they’ve clarified what kind of upset they mean), then they can begin to make an outline with some points supporting how or why the upset emerges. 3. Find some quotations: Once the student features a clear expression of their “main idea” and an outline, they are more than ready to find some quotations. These quotations is evidence that helps to support or illustrate their points, or examples to assist showcase their ideas to a broader audience, demonstrating their knowledge of the field. Sometimes, it’s also just helpful to have them integrate the words of someone else within their own writing to juxtapose different writing styles.123helpme.me For example, we realize that “authors quote or paraphrase from books, papers, experts, facts, online text – a number of materials to help them make their points,” so why not get them started on this skill early? 4. Share with each other: Often students tend to believe that their written work is only for the eyes of the teacher. They forget that communicative acts belong in larger conversations. We write to fairly share our ideas and participate in a larger dialogue about the topic at hand. So have students due to their “main ideas,” their outlines, and their key quotations sit-down and walk somebody else through their plans. This is an easy pair or group activity that can be done in class with each student telling their partner/group what their plan is for their writing. Often we discover the hiccups and errors in our own thinking once we make an effort to say it out loud. As well, that is one step-in the feedback process that helps students before they submit their work to you. 5. Practice, Practice, Practice: Of course, the only real way for students (or anyone) to improve their writing is to practice. Not all writing needs to be submitted for summative assessment, as this are onerous regarding the instructor. Having students write short answers, or short statements and sharing those with each other can help them to write without you always having to become one to provide feedback. Group activities could be suggestions for getting students to write, but then the outcome may well be a presentation rather than a formal piece of prose for you.
In any case, these are my top 5 tips for helping students to improve their writing. These are typically tried and true, an easy task to implement into the class, and certainly will produce a real difference to their writing outcomes, especially if there are standardised tests or AP tests as part of your teaching context.
Good luck…have fun…happy teaching!
P.S. if you found these tips helpful drop me a message on Twitter and let me know what else you’d like me to write about!
Virtually every jurisdiction and every curricula at every class has some learning outcome related to writing goals. There are various “writing across the curriculum” goals, and it can sometimes be overwhelming. As educators, we realize that the best way for students to improve their writing is by practising more and more. Yet, how many of us have time to offer feedback on a daily or weekly basis on student writing? What if we have beenn’t the English teacher? Do we still have to help with writing outcomes? What other methods can we help students improve their writing, especially if we have beenn’t the English teacher?
Universities and schools in a variety of contexts – likely yours as well! – are asking teachers and students to ensure that these are typically writing in all their classes, not just their English classes.
“Writing Across the Curriculum is a action that began in the 1970s and is gaining a lot of attention these days. It really is designed to boost kids vital thinking skills by requiring them to write in all of their classes—from math to social studies to science—and not just in language arts.”
While that aim and objective might make lot of great sense for students additionally the requirement that contemporary learners be well-versed in writing in a variety of disciplines, it doesn’t help teachers which may possibly not be experts in teaching composition.
But first, why does it matter?
In addition to often finding cross-curricular writing objectives as standards and directives to which you must adhere, you might also need to get your students writing in non-English classes because:
- Writing helps students retain information.
- Writing helps students develop critical thinking skills.
- Writing helps you assess your entire students (even the quiet ones).
- Writing helps you to see if students do or do not understand the crux of the material.
So what are a few easy techniques to teach and incorporate writing in non-English classes, or even some tricks of the trade for English teachers?
Three tips to incorporate writing in your classes
Here are three easy techniques to get students writing in your classes. Each step takes the student’s writing and exploration a step deeper into the subject-matter that you train.
1. Identify the situation in your own words
Having students in virtually any class write out the main issue in a class in their own words can be a powerful solution to get them writing, but also owning the course content that you want them to master. For-instance, if students are memorising a formula in a Physics class to determine the velocity of anything, have them write several short sentences saying why it matters. It not only gets them writing, but in addition gets them internalising the “why” of the course materials in your class. Asking “why” questions and eliciting answers works in virtually every subject matter:
- Why does it matter that we learn what temperature various oils boil at compared to water?
- Why should we compare and contrast the relative ages of men and women in media representations of the same occupation?
- Why do we view conditions leading up to the outbreak of World War 2?
- Why should we realize where our country is relative to our largest trading partners?
- Why does it matter to learn about our GDP?
- Why should we understand human being health and nutrition?
- Why would we want to cross multiply and divide to solve for x?
In some classes, a written answer to one of these “why” problem questions might be enough. But in others, you might want to expand the restatement of the fundamental problem (or “why”) in to a longer answer. If so, move on to Step 2:
2. Expand the problem statement with some analysis
Once they’ve identified the “why” of the main problem that you’re studying, regardless of discipline, you’ll ask them to think of some real-world examples where solving or addressing the situation or the “why” matters. How can they apply the information?
A first rung on the ladder in that is to have them to take into account applications for the information that you’re teaching from unique everyday lives. Can they think of reasons, examples, or illustrations of how the information can be helpful? Have them write those out as examples.
In some classes, you might stop here. You’ve gotten them to take into account why the situation you may be studying matters and to think of some real-world examples of that particular information. And you’ve had them write something that either you’ll mark and provide feedback on, or you’ll have them share with a partner in a “think-pair-share” activity that gets them writing and in addition using the services of their classmates.
Nonetheless, you can even go further, should you want. If so, move on to Step 3:
3.Engage in some independent research
Once students have written about the problem that they’re studying in your class and provided some examples that they were able to think of on their own, you’ll extend the assignment further and have now them take part in some research beyond unique thinking.
With regards to the class or level and with regards to the material, you may possibly choose to have them research the topic further. What is the scholarship regarding the field? How are the findings applied elsewhere? What are various other examples of research like that which you are doing? What have other researchers or historians said about the topic? Are there blog posts that take opposing views or pose different questions related to your field?
Giving students the opportunity to research beyond your classroom can help them to see not only the applicability of what they are studying in their own everyday lives, but in addition how the discipline or the material as a whole applies more broadly. As well, by doing a bit of extra research, you may be building additional vital thinking and research skills over and above whatever curricular component was the main focus of your training.
With your three easy steps – stating the situation in their own words, thinking up examples, and doing a bit of research – any teacher in virtually any subject can participate in “writing across the curriculum” initiatives. Whether you have your students compile the materials from the three measures in to a more formal, summative assignment, or whether you simply have them do some of those measures as part of their formative work along the way, the more writing you obtain your students to accomplish, the better it is for everyone!
Most high school curricula require students to develop vital thinking skills that they demonstrate by being able to both peer- and self-edit written work. Developing the ability to look closely and critically at an individual’s own work is difficult. Helping students to see the component elements of a piece of writing and analyse each bit at a time can help.
Eventually, what we’re speaing frankly about let me reveal scaffolding the self-editing process. How can we provide support for students in a way that helps them to see the component elements of good writing, analyse each part, and slowly, but surely develop the skills and confidence to self-edit and critique their very own writing?
Academic writing, specially expository and analytical writing, are evaluated holistically. a holistic analysis does not pick apart perhaps the syntax is clunky or the ideation rudimentary, but rather a holistic analysis looks at the essay or piece of writing as a whole and evaluates its success.
Holistic analysis of middle- and secondary-school writing is very hard for students to be able to accomplish. It can take a degree of technical mastery over writing and emotional maturity to step back and analyse a piece of writing in its entirety. Heck, it is often hard for professional article writers and editors to be able to look at a completed whole and provide meaningful feedback or critique.
Nonetheless, what students at this level can master, is the power to go through the component elements of a piece of writing and begin to exert effort by way of a check-list of items in each category to gauge success.
The component elements of a piece of writing are commonly considered: Content, Style, Organisation/Structure, and Mechanics ( Spelling & Grammar).
If students can begin to see what each one of these components looks like, then they can begin to edit unique work properly.
Below is an exemplory instance of a helpful checklist. If you’d like to download it and share it with your students can be done so via this link.
Students can then use the blank space to add any feedback that they might need to make clear where these people were strong or weak in virtually any area.
Peer- and self-editing skills eventually help students to become stronger and better article writers. As well, by becoming better editors, students look at formative nature of writing as a means of continuous revision and improvement.