Writing is an essential skill, especially for students. It is important that they are able to communicate their ideas clearly and cohesively in written form. Whether it is for school reports or creative writing classes, it is your role as their teacher to help them develop their writing skills.
By using worksheets that offer students writing prompts, for example, you can guide them on what to write about and how to make their essays read and flow better. You can also give them exercises for forming their ideas much faster.
Here are five things you can do to help your young students become confident writers.
Ask Them to Write About Familiar Topics
Start by asking your students to write about things they are interested in. Familiar subjects will give them an edge on the topic they will write about. They will have more knowledge, so you can expect to read plenty of substantial content, which will leave a stronger impact on their readers.
This also makes them more confident about the results because they know the topic or subject like the back of their hand. Sometimes, writing about things that are unfamiliar to them makes children’s writing sound forced. This, in turn, results in a boring, drawn out and uninteresting report or essay.
But if they do have to write about an unfamiliar topic, advise your students that they should spend enough time doing research. They can read up on the subject matter first or talk to people who know more about the field.
Teach Them About Mind Maps and Topic Sentences
One of the oldest tricks in the book that even already seasoned writers use to ensure proper flow of ideas in their writing is creating a mind map. A mind map will let your students jot down phrases and ideas, which they can later on group together. From there, they can create an outline, as well as topic sentences, that will serve as their guide to finish their essay.
Double Check Their Information and Sources
It is the responsibility of every student and writer to verify the sources of information they use in their essay. They should cite their sources if they interviewed a personality or expert or if they are quoting an article or study. Authority figures in an industry are experts in their field, and they have more credibility and a huge following. Citing them as a source will make reports more credible.
Additionally, you should teach students how to be meticulous when checking information sourced online. When using data or facts and figures, it is advisable to compare data from at least two sources for accuracy. The problem with sourcing data from the web is that the numbers sometimes do not add up. So, tell your students to check and cross-reference with authority sites as much as possible.
Edit and Proofread as They Go
One tip from experienced writers, especially when they are on a deadline, is to edit and proofread as you go. Tell your students that it is better to reread portions of their report from time to time to make sure that they do not overlook any lapses in grammar and spelling. It will also help them write the next sentence or paragraph with ease since the flow of ideas will not be interrupted.
Encourage Them to Write Something Every Day
This is the most important tip in writing. The cliché “practice makes perfect” is a cliché for a reason. It is only through writing every day that students can articulate their thoughts properly. Constant practice will allow them to improve their writing structure and flow. This will also help them write faster and more confidently.
You can advise your young students to keep a journal to track their progress or contribute articles to the school paper or magazine. Both examples encourage writing daily until it becomes second nature to them.
Give your students time to learn, adjust and improve. Remind them that no one becomes a best-selling writer overnight. Whether they are aspiring to become an author or just want to write reports and essays more confidently at school, advise them to take it one day at a time. Encourage them to keep practicing and reading to expand their vocabulary. It will also help them develop a writing style and a voice that is uniquely their own.