How To Develop Your Writing Skills To Construct Any Text Without Problems
To have a swift transition from high school to college, you need to develop strong writing and reading skills —but it’s not just your academic success that is dependent on them. You need to practice different writing strategies to slay essays while still in high school, construct any text or message in your future career, and use effective writing methods in your personal life as well.
Today’s educational system is in much need of change. It is high time mainstream school curricula started incorporating the effective teachings of Black history , cultural diversity , and soft skills so that you can come out of your high school ready to embrace the real world and succeed in any career path you choose .
Until innovations in schools are brought about, you cannot miss out on developing the core skills that you’ll need in every aspect of your life. Here’s everything you need to know to improve your writing skills and put your thoughts down confidently.
Encourage a young writer
Children have the best imaginations. They’re capable of creating their own little worlds. So in this article, you’ll find some simple writing activities to help them use their imaginations to develop their writing skills. Whether they’re still in lockdown or back in the classroom, writing can take their minds anywhere.
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#mindmaps. #infographics. #typograms. These are some of the ideas covered in this article, for helping your young learners avoid anxiety and writer’s block when it comes to putting words on the page. (Yes using hashtags is also one of the ideas.) A blank page can be daunting, whereas a word that looks like a tortoise is pretty pleasing. There’s also a webinar recording for you to watch.
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Some Instructional Basics That Often Slip Out of Sight
As an educator, you’re probably quite often buried in writing, working on dissertations, statements, scripts for webinars, presentations, and whatnot. You, of all people, understand how hard it is to organize yourself, juggling multiple tasks at a time. So, your students would definitely appreciate time-management advice, and actionable writing prompts.
Admittedly, it does take precious time to contact everyone in person, which is why sharing FAQs and pre-recorded videos with some helpful writing strategies might be the way to go.
Take time to understand the topic. In his interview to EdSurge, John Warner, the author of Why They Can’t Write: Killing the Five-Paragraph Essay and Other Necessities , has put it this way: “ I always like to remember and remind students that writing is thinking. If they’re having trouble with the writing, there’s likely an underlying problem with the thinking, and often it’s rooted in them not being sure what they’re supposed to be thinking about. I go back to trying to decide what kind of thinking I’m trying to privilege with the assignment and then helping students get started on that path. ”
Provide many opportunities for practice and revision . Emphasizing thoughtful writing may eventually put many students into even more stressful situations. Creating opportunities for students to practice low-pressure writing will bear fruit. Hold them accountable about the number of revisions they can make and assign different tasks for each stage of the process—first, have them focused on ideas; second, ask them to think about adding their experiences; next, help them improve the structure of writing.
Give choices and change the audience . Suggesting alternative topics/assignment formats and encouraging students to experiment with the audience (asking to write for other peers, parents, younger family members, etc.) may help them gain much needed fluency in writing. Here’s what Dr. Dawn DiPeri and Holly Owens, M.Ed. are also advising to do in the first place:
Dawn : Students should be encouraged to write and write a lot. Write for different audiences, and different topics. Have them find the thing that they are passionate about. Get them excited to seek out information through research. Encourage students to write a little bit every day or even most days. Teach about how to find trustworthy content and know the difference between empirical evidence and opinion.
Holly : Write on a daily basis whether it’s journaling or writing a research paper, students should make it a point to write frequently. Students should also make it a point to visit their campus’ writing center for assistance from other scholars. I would also encourage students to write in various types of genres like fiction, non-fiction, poetry, and explore areas outside of their writing comfort zone.
Offer various techniques and progress tracking . This can be left to students to self-upgrade and then report on their progress to the class. Writing for time : setting a timer and writing in two (25+25 minutes) iterations or more following a Pomodoro technique. Writing for better understanding : take some time to think about the concept and putting words to writing in a clear and structured way. Writing for distance : set more and more ambitious word count goals will foster students’ ability to write lengthy papers without being tempted to copy-paste.
Dawn : Make writing and reading in front of peers fun. Try debates. Do open mic nights in the online classroom. Include writing in multimedia. Insert an audio of a written prose into a PowerPoint. Have students practice their elevator pitch and develop mock interview questions. Have a student research about a current event and then record a news story and report on it.
Holly: In the online course I teach I have students record podcasts episodes on various topics. Students work in pairs where one student is the host and the other is the guest. This requires them to do scripting and also prepare for answering interview questions.
Habits of Mind as a Method to Improve Students’ Writing Skills
The desire to learn as well as the desire and ability to write stem from the mind’s capacities and habits. Why not focus on building students’ habits of mind that would let them be better at writing? Dr. Dawn DiPeri and Holly Owens, M.Ed. shared their insights regarding this.
Dawn : Educators should encourage students to journal and do creative writing as well. Encourage them to read as much as possible. Have them seek out writing that is so good they can’t put it down and come back and tell us why. Practice structure. Teach how to use an outline. A topic sentence and supporting evidence. Use the MEAL approach. Encourage students to use an introduction and also a conclusion. Have students look for clear transitions between their sentences and self-reflect on their own writing and their peers. Use peer 2 peer teaching.
Holly : The writing process should also be scaffolded into digestible chunks. I remember learning the APA process during my masters programs, it was a lot of information to absorb and remember to use when writing research-based papers. Rome wasn’t built in a day, and neither was a fluent writer.
PS: As a bonus tip for those of you who have read this long read up to the end, explore a detailed guide by Dr. Dawn DiPeri on transitioning face-to-face classes online:
Contact Holly Owens for technology training, consultation, coaching and other professional services related to online pedagogy at [email protected] or by going to her site jollyholly.me for business-related inquiries.
Picky about words as well as blog topics. Carries out research for hours to find reliable references. Enjoys having a billion of browser tabs open. Singer-in-chief who irritates everyone on the team.