5 Better Writing Techniques for Students
Writing is not as easy as it seems. It takes time and patience to acquire the skill in a conventional manner. It is hard to teach students to write because it requires a complex mix and coordination of cognitive processes. You can break it down for them, however. Here are five writing techniques to help you teach students to become better writers.
Tip #1 Engage in Pre-writing Activities
The first stage of any type of writing is pre-writing.
You may not be aware of it as a writer, but it is where you consider and discard ideas on a topic. It is a free-flowing process, sometimes called brainstorming, and it is not usually organized.
You can walk your students through this process by providing them with activities to help them come up with and organize ideas. You can use brainstorming apps, or simply ask them to write down ideas and discuss each one in turn.
Tip #2 Collaborate
Writing is a very personal endeavor but, for the student writer, they need all the help they can get.
Have your students work together on a writing project. Encourage them to plan how they will approach a topic, organize the research, write the paper, and do revisions. This type of collaboration improves student writing skills as they go, together.
Tip #3 Summarize Text
You can help your students become better writers by teaching them how to get at the major ideas in any written work.
Summarizing involves decoding complex ideas into simpler ones and, in the process, they will begin to understand how to develop simple ideas into complex ones. Give your students articles to summarize, and guide them through the process.
Tip #4 Provide Feedback
Have your students critique each other’s work, and provide feedback. You need to give them pointers on how to do it to make sure they give constructive criticism. Ultimately, they have to understand that such feedback is the same thing they will get from their readers, and nothing is more valuable than that kind of realization.
Tip #5 Emphasize the Importance of Writing
You have to impress your students with the importance of good writing skills. You are not just to give them a hard time to get a good grade in your class. Give them examples of how good writing can get them better jobs, and make them a valuable asset to any company. Provide them with role models of excellent writers, and tell them that they, too, started with no skills in writing.
Writing is a skill that evolves over time, which is why educators have to take the initiative to provide students with writing techniques they can practice constantly. These five techniques can make them writers of whom you can be proud. Teaching them to be better writers is both your responsibility and your privilege.
Joan Selby is an ESL teacher in Green Dot Public school at Los Angeles, California and tutor at Edugeeksclub. Her passion for education comes from her desire to see students develop to their fullest potential. She is a CalArts graduate and a fancy shoelover. Find her on Twitter and Facebook.