5 Ways to Teach Essay Writing

5 Ways to Teach Essay Writing

Have been struggling with academic writing? You are not alone! Writing essays is hard to learn and even harder to teach. Since multiple skills just turn into a habit, even professional writers struggle to explain how they structure their work and finally succeed. Nevertheless, defining and gradually following major steps is an excellent way to help others get started.

Teach the basics of essay structure

Start by highlighting that essays consist of an established structure, which includes an introduction, body paragraphs, and a conclusion. Learners must understand major differences between academic and creative writing since the first one implies following strict rules and sacrificing ideas that seem so fresh and innovative. Sometimes students turn to essay writing services like Essay Have and seek professional help online to get their academic papers finished. Such companies are indeed helpful when individuals struggle to grasp the basics of essay writing and need a reliable example to follow. However, nothing compares with a feeling when you become confident in your skills and start implementing them in practice without external help. Therefore, ask your students to remember the following:

  • Introduction is your chance to get readers’ attention and familiarize them with the topic. This part should not leave the reader wondering what this essay will be about. Simultaneously, it should ask a critical question which the essay will answer. Such a question can become a hook convincing others that they must read this essay to get critical insights about the topic. The standard introduction provides brief background information and the thesis statement, which serves as a central argument.

  • Body paragraphs support the thesis statement by providing arguments and backing them up with examples and evidence. You should dedicate each paragraph to a separate idea to explain its significance properly. While some essay instructions require paragraphs to examine the issue from a one-sided perspective, others introduce different points of view. Each body paragraph resembles the structure of the overall essay: it should start with an introduction sentence and end with a concluding one. Try to make all body paragraphs similar in length since your paper looks more professional this way. 

  • Conclusion summarizes the main points explained in the body paragraphs and restates the thesis from the introduction. Use slightly different words, but do not present completely new ideas. The conclusion may provide some final thoughts or a call for action to make readers think critically about the issue. 

Encourage brainstorming

Teach your students to gather ideas before actually starting writing. The preparatory stage is critical, and neglecting it results in poor reasoning and chaotic arguments. Some perceive brainstorming as wasting time and skip this step, hoping to cope with assignments quickly. However, brainstorming saves time by helping to organize future work and manage it more effectively. Encourage active learning techniques such as using flashcards and engaging in the discussion. Divide students into groups and ask them to complete an essay as a team. Even if essays are not perfect, students will remember writing with excitement and gain valuable soft skills. Mastering brainstorming will also assist them further since multiple activities start at this stage. Brainstorming may help to complete an essay, write a book, and even solve a real-life problem like finding stable employment or establishing long-lasting relationships.

Integrate writing across subjects 

Your students must use every opportunity to practice structuring and conveying their thoughts in writing. Analyzing literature, discussing history, or presenting projects are the simplest examples of activities that may involve essay writing. You can compose instructions for almost every task as an essay requirement. A comprehensive, interdisciplinary approach will allow students to explore different types of writing and finally develop their unique style. 

However, extra obligations may turn even the most pleasant activities into misery. Make sure that your students realize the benefits of writing and practice it in their routine. Encourage them to keep diaries and complete checklists. Connect writing tasks with their interests and experiences; let students talk about themselves. Some wait for an opportunity to share their stories, and you may start by telling yours. Set an example and let your students feel they are free to express their opinions and discuss new ideas. Create a safe zone where everybody feels valued and understood.

Don’t neglect the revision

However tempting it is to type the final letter and submit the essay, the actual work does not end here. Teach your students to edit their writing thoughtfully and revise their papers without regrets. They should eliminate grammatical errors and ensure that every paragraph is meaningful and comprehensive. Do the arguments support each other? Are there any contradictions? Are the sources reliable, or is the information already outdated? Encourage your students to ask these questions and approach the revision critically. 

Working on the same matter for long prevents us from noticing the obvious, which means taking breaks is also necessary. The essay is finished in time, and the deadline does not make you shake in panic? Go for a walk. Call your friend, wash dishes. Help your students realize how much they can achieve by shifting their attention to other tasks. Remind them that struggles for perfection are sometimes pointless. No mistakes are grave, and every failure can become a growth opportunity. You are here to learn, right?

So practice!

Ensure that no challenges stop your students. Like any other skill, writing gets better proportionally to the time and effort put into it. Progress is inevitable; just wait. Explore barriers that prevent your students from succeeding. Some may believe they have nothing to say or feel too pressured because of the academic requirements. Show them the other side of the strict guidelines: they leave less space to go astray. Finally, you must learn the rules to break them. Imagine what you will achieve after leaving this milestone behind! Regardless of the recent advancements in AI, machines cannot replace humans, and all spheres require us to express our thoughts comprehensively. Perceive each essay as a training necessary for establishing your future career.

Summing up

It seems most of the steps to teach essay writing focus on finding motivation to start and proceed. Studying is a fascinating journey, and students must be aware of the benefits they can get along the way. Provide them with proper motivation and make them believe in themselves. Show them that writing is not always about academic essays and that their creativity should not go to waste. Encourage them to move forward gradually, step by step. Once again, we are here to learn, and failing is normal. More important is recognizing your mistakes and developing strategies to avoid repeating them in the future.

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