Essay Writing: Simple Ways To Help Your Child Improve Their Essay Writing
May 23, 2016 10085 views
Essay Writing: Simple Ways To Help Your Child Improve Their Essay Writing
Integrated Learning Strategies is excited to feature tips for essay writing. While many of the recommendations below are great for children and parents, some accommodations or exceptions may be made for children with learning challenges and learning disabilities.
Essay writing is a task that almost every child hates. Even the word ‘essay’ causes tears, tantrums and a whole lot of stress. The thing is, if your child has any chance of being a successful student, they need to have high-quality essay writing skills. Whether they’re seven-years-old or 15, knowing how to write an essay is essential for your child’s future.
The good news is that most essay-related arguments are caused because kids aren’t sure how to go about creating a good essay. Because they don’t know how to structure the text or what to put where, it takes them hours, which makes essay writing a task that they hate. However, if you help them to become a better writer, it won’t take as long to do.
To help you teach your child to be a more successful essay writer, here are a few useful tips.
Teach them about essay structure
When it comes to essays, the structure is important. A good essay has an introduction, a body paragraph for each point, and a conclusion. The introduction simply introduces the topic. While the body paragraphs argue the point or give evidence, and the conclusion rounds up the topic and what the essay says. Explain to your child that just like writing a letter to their pen pal, an essay also needs to follow set structural rules. It’s also worth mentioning about how to format an essay, as this is important as they get older. A badly formatted piece can lead to a lower grade. So make sure also to explain about formatting.
Explain the importance of research
The reason many kids struggle with essays is because they don’t do adequate research. You need to explain to your child that as well as using what they’ve learned at school, to produce a good piece of work research is also important. For this, books or the internet are a great resource. Tell your child to note down anything that they find that could be useful as they can then use it to support their essay topic. Research doesn’t have to be dull, if you help your child and make it fun, they’ll learn to enjoy it.
Show them how to break a topic down
Essays can seem overwhelming, which can cause kids to panic about them. The best way you can make essay writing easier for them is to show them how to break the topic down. If for example, the essay title is ‘Sir Francis Drake: Hero or Villain?’, all they would need to do is write two lists of evidence. One containing the evidence that Sir Francis Drake was a hero and one that has all the reasons he wasn’t. These two lists can then be used for your child to argue their point in the essay. It’s also worth explaining about how they can use an essay plan to make writing their next assignment easier. An essay plan is a great tool as it allows them to draft the outline of the piece and the points they want to make, before writing it. This makes putting the essay together, much easier.
Tell them how to edit
To help your child increase their chances of getting a good grade, encourage them to double check their work. This is important as by doing this they can spot errors or mistakes, helping to increase the grade that they get. Tell your child that once their essay is complete, it’s a good idea to read it back out loud. This will make spotting any problems easier. You can also offer to read it for them so that you can point out any mistakes that they have missed.
The key to success when it comes to essay writing is practice. The problem is that most schools only ask children to write one or two practice essays a term. This means that they’re not getting enough practice to improve their assignment writing skills. The best way to manage this is to set them practice essays yourself. To make this fun, give them exciting topics. For instance, if they’re Marvel mad, ask them to write an essay titled ‘In a battle to the death who would win Hulk or Captain America?’. If you make essay writing fun and relevant to their interests, you’ll find that they’re more likely to be happy to practice it.
So there you have it, the simple things you can do to help your child improve their essay writing skills. This is important, as essay writing is a big part of a child’s school career. So if they want to be successful, it’s best to master it sooner rather than later.
Integrated Learning Strategies is a Utah-based center dedicated to helping mainstream children and children with learning disabilities achieve academic success. Our services provide kids with non-traditional tutoring programs within the Davis County, Kaysville, Layton, Syracuse, Farmington, and Centerville areas. Areas to find Integrated Learning Strategies include: Reading tutors in Kaysville, Math tutors in Kaysville, Common Core Tutors in Kaysville, Tutors in Utah, Utah Tutoring Programs
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Step-by-Step Guide to Writing an Essay
So your teacher assigned another essay to write. Does the mere thought of putting pen to paper – or fingers to the keyboard – send shivers down your spine? For many students in elementary, middle or high school, it does, but writing an essay shouldn’t be intimidating. As long as you know the basic steps of essay writing, you should be well-equipped to handle any essay topic.
Determine What Type of Essay It Is
There are many different types of essays you might be asked to write in elementary, middle or high school. Some of the most common include narrative, expository, argumentative, persuasive, comparative and literary. Are you presenting an overview or telling a story about the topic (narrative) or are you providing an analysis (expository)? Do you have to convince the reader to adopt a certain point of view or to take a particular action (persuasive)? Are you writing an essay about a book you read (literary)? Determining the type of essay is the first step to writing a targeted essay.
Create an Essay Outline
An essay outline is your road map. It will guide you through to the finished product. When you create an outline, you organize your thoughts about your topic. First, write your topic at the top of the page. Then list all the points or arguments you want to make about the essay topic. Finally, list the facts, examples and statistics that support those points or arguments.
Develop a Thesis Statement
Your thesis should inform the reader what point you will be making or what question you will be answering about the topic. In other words, it is a prelude to your conclusion. A thesis statement should be as specific as possible and address one main idea. Strong theses also take a stand or illustrate the controversial nature of a topic.
Introduce Your Topic
The first paragraph of your essay will introduce your topic and provide direction for the entire essay. The introduction should discuss your main idea, or what the essay is about, then state your thesis and points or arguments that support your thesis.
The introduction also sets the tone for your essay, and you want to grab the reader’s attention with interest and clarity. To capture the reader’s attention, you can make a challenging claim about the topic or present some surprising (but factual) information.
Write the Body of the Essay
The body of the essay provide details for the points in your introductory paragraph that support your thesis. Take the points you listed in your introduction and discuss each in one body paragraph. First, write a topic sentence that summarizes your point then explain why you feel the topic sentence is true. Finally, support your argument with evidence such as facts, quotes, examples and statistics.
Present Your Conclusion
The conclusion summarizes the essay and gives the reader closure. In three or four concise sentences, you should reiterate your thesis and review the main points of the body of the essay. Just be sure not to restate your previous words exactly. You can even briefly describe your opinion of the topic. Your final sentence should uphold your main idea in a clear and compelling manner.
Just remember to tackle each step one at a time. Some people do better when they work backwards from the conclusion. Write a rough draft of your essay first – don’t try to get it perfect the first time through. After you finish your rough draft, proofread it thoroughly and revise until you have a strong, informative essay.
Interactive Essay Writing Classes
Online lessons like Time4Writing’s essay writing classes can help children build and strengthen the foundation for strong essay writing skills in elementary school, middle school, high school and beyond. These interactive essay writing classes build basic writing skills, explain essay types and structure, and teach students how to organize their ideas.
Time4Writing is popular as a writing homeschool curriculum, for afterschool enrichment, for remediation, and as a summer school alternative. All of Time4Writing’s online lessons are led by certified writing teachers who provide valuable feedback after every writing assignment.
Learn more about Time4Writing today!