Make them decide upon the purpose of an essay. When a student perfectly understands what he writes an essay for, it will be much easier for him to draw the outline and start writing.
The process of teaching is impossible without examples. For your students to understand what a good piece of writing actually is, just give them some examples of excellent essays. It may be an essay of your former student for example. When they see a sample, your students will have an idea what a good essay should look like.
Use samples to tell students about each element their essays should include. They will perfectly understand what the good introduction is, what an informative body of an essay should look like, and how to make an appropriate conclusion.
Moreover, your students will also have an opportunity to see how sentences are built, and what grammar constructions are used in an essay.
The last thing to do before starting to write an essay is to make its outline. Choose some topic and make a list of points your students would need to mention if they wrote an essay on it. Such a technique will give them a better understanding of what and essay is, and how it should be written. Make sure that all students perfectly understand the fact they should follow an essay outline, because it will be much easier for them to write this piece of paper. Make it clear to them that every point of the outline should start from a new paragraph.
Moreover, the smaller these paragraphs are — the more attractive an essay will look for its readers. It is not very comfortable to read very long paragraphs, as it will be more difficult to get the point in such a way. Eventually, it will be easier for students themselves to compose shorter paragraphs of an essay. Finally, it is time to start writing an essay.
And here comes its most important part that is called an introduction. As a rule, students find it very difficult to write this part of their essay, as they do not know how to start a piece of writing in order to attract readers' attention and tell them shortly about what this essay is about.
It is clear, that an essay will not be good without a proper and attractive beginning, so, your task is to explain this moment to your students. Tell them, that no one will continue reading their essays if they do not make it eye-catchy and clear for a potential reader. Moreover, an essay introduction should be intriguing a bit.
Depending on the topic of an essay, students can start it with a story from their personal experience. This is a good way to grab an attention. Discuss this option with your students, listen to their suggestions. Discussions will help them learn the material better.
We have already mentioned the outline of an essay, that will help your students write the body of their essay right. Now it is high time for a conclusion, which is not less important than an introduction by the way. It is a real art to finish your writing in a way your reader would feel good and satisfied with everything he has read.
Tell your students how to conclude their essays appropriately. Explain, that it is not good to abrupt a piece of writing. And do not forget to mention, that a conclusion of their essay should contain a summary if all points they discussed in the body!
To summarize everything mentioned above, we can say that the importance of essay writing skills should not be underestimated. If you're homeschooling your children, look for a writing curriculum that helps you teach the preliminary skills for writing essays and other forms of writing. It should also help you assess your child's writing skill level to help you find an appropriate starting point.
Teach how to write complete sentences. Because writing essays generally requires writing in complete sentences, students need to learn how to make effective complete sentences. They should have an understanding of the types of sentence declarative, imperative, interrogative, exclamatory , active and passive voice, and the ability to correctly match subjects and verbs.
Teach how to organize sentences into paragraphs. Once students have mastered the ability to write complete sentences, they then need to learn how to string those sentences together into a paragraph. Students need to learn how to follow one sentence with another, and then another that expands upon the idea presented in the first sentence, and how to arrange sentences so that preceding sentences lead to the idea presented in the final sentence.
Teach how to organize and transition between paragraphs. Once students can write coherent paragraphs, they are ready to learn how to connect paragraphs together so that each paragraph introduces the next one, with each paragraph making a stronger statement than the one preceding it. Transition sentences can be placed in the last sentence of the leading paragraph, the first sentence of the following paragraph, or both. Gradually encourage students to connect two, three, four, and five paragraphs together to build a coherent essay.
As students get more familiar with the format, help them learn how to write an introduction, present background information, present information that confirms their beliefs, present information that refutes their beliefs, and then a summary conclusion. Teach how to observe and record observations. This can begin with showing students how to observe and write about something in front of them and then compare their written observations with the observations of their fellow students and with professional writers observing the same thing.
Teach how to express opinions in writing. Show the difference between writing facts and writing opinions. Students should learn when it is and isn't appropriate to include their opinions in what they write and how to express those opinions in a polite and professional manner.
Teach how to research an essay. Students need to learn how to select materials to write about, how to read for information and how to analyze it, how to take notes, and then to organize those notes into an outline.
While outlines can be done in the head, students should first learn to do outlines on paper, so they can check the development of their essays against their original plans. They should also learn how to first modify the outline and then the essay itself as they acquire new information that requires them to revise their essays. Determine what to write about. This is the subject of the essay.
For younger children, determining a subject is enough, while for older children and college students, the subject should be refined into a thesis statement.
Determine a reason for writing. Student should be able to define the idea behind why they are writing their essays, whether they are prompted by something they read or motivated by something that happened.
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