It is the moment every parent dreads: when your child sits there, glum-faced, taking a look at a blank piece of paper in front of them. They have a rapidly-approaching deadline for essay, and nothing, but nothing one does as a parent seems to help all of them get any closer to completion. What can you do to help? The answer is: a lot.
Producing a successful essay can be one of the most arduous parts of the schooling procedure, and yet, the need to write an essay is everywhere: from English literary works, to economics, to physics, location, classical studies, music, and history. To succeed, at high school and in tertiary study you must master essay composing.
Getting students over this hurdle was one of the reasons I put pencil to paper four years ago and produced a book called Write That will Essay! At that stage, I had been a senior academic at Auckland University and an university examiner. For nearly 20 years, in both course work plus examinations, I had counselled everyone through 17-year-old ‘newbies’ to 40-year-old profession changers with their essay writing. Often , the difference between a student who might achieve a B-Grade and the A-Grade pupil was just some well-placed advice plus direction.
I then visited over fifty New Zealand High Schools and spoke with over 8000 kiwi kids about essay writing. These types of students reported exactly the same challenges as I had previously encountered, and more. The result has been two books and a DVD MOVIE that have helped kids achieve a few of the potential that sits inside most of us.
In this article I am going to deal with some actions you can take as a parent to help your child be successful at essay writing.
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Because writing great essays is well inside every child’s grasp.
Tips for essay writing success:
1 . It’s an argument
Remember that an essay is an disagreement: the task in an essay is not to create a story or to recount a storyline. The teacher knows all of this details. In an essay your child’s job is to present a compelling argument-using particular evidence-for the point they are trying to make.
2 . Write a plan: you’ll be delighted that you did
Get your child to publish a brief list-plan of the topics that will their essay needs to cover. A short plan is better than no plan at all, and will start to give the writer a feeling that completing an essay on that topic is nicely within their grasp.
If your child is a visual learner, move away from the particular desk and go to a neutral space. Grab a large sheet of blank A3 paper and some coloured pens, and brainstorm a mind chart or sketch plan of the actual essay should contain. Using images, lines, circles, and arrows can all help the visual learner grasp the task at hand and assist them see what they have to do.
3 or more. Getting Started
A challenge many kids (and adults) face writing essays gets started. The person sits there awaiting inspiration to hit them like a fast bolt and it never happens. So what can you as a parent do to help?
Encourage them with the thought that excellent essays are never written the first time over. Get them to view essay writing like a three-part process. The first draft is only to get out the ideas plus words in rough form. Within the second and third effort, they will add to their essay where there are usually blanks, clarify ideas, and give it a final polish. Realising that an article isn’t supposed to be perfect the first time you write it, really helps many people.
4. Having enough to say
In case your child is still stuck, find out if they have read up enough on the topic. Some inertia with writing could be due to lack of knowledge. They will discover writing so much easier if they spend another day or two reading more within the topic and gleaning some extra ideas.
5. Try using a fairly neutral sentence
Suggest starting the essay with a neutral sentence: a sentence that merely states an interesting fact on the topic being written about. This one: ‘Mozart was one of the most essential Austrian composers of the eighteenth millennium. ‘ First sentences in essays don’t need to be stellar – you just need to start!