5 Ways to Improve Your Students' Writing Skills…
…and make your job a little easier!
No matter what level your students are writing at, these tips will focus minds and get creative juices flowing.
Read. A lot.
Find inspiration from others. Good and bad.
It may sound obvious, but this is a great place to start. Soaking up the style and mechanics of others will help any aspiring writer to find their own voice. This doesn’t mean reading just bestsellers or classical masterpieces however, because inspiration is everywhere; expose yourself to a variety of styles, voices and forms of writing.
Warm up. Seriously.
You wouldn’t run without stretching first, would you?
Okay, so you won’t break any bones if you skip a warm up, but there are still risks. Getting started can be the hardest part of writing, so flex your brain muscles first; no-one wants to sit and stare at a blank screen waiting for inspiration. Start with something simple: select an object on your desk and write about it for 2 minutes.
Break the delete key.
First drafts of anything are rubbish. Accept it.
Instead of constantly editing what you write and breaking your writing “flow”, focus on getting ideas down on the page in the first draft. There are lots of ways to do this. An app like Rough Draft will encourage students to stop deleting, start writing and focus on ideas.
Keep. It. Simple.
It’s difficult to express something simply, but it’s also more effective. Ernest Hemingway was a leading proponent of writing short, sharp sentences. Who better to take advice from? Well, how about Dr. Seuss: “So the writer who breeds more words than he needs is making a chore for the reader who reads.”
It’s a marathon, not a sprint.
The inclination of many students is to cram the night before a deadline. (I know - I was a student once too!) But this is a terrible strategy. No one writes at their best this way. Encourage writing in short, daily bursts from as soon as you hand out an assignment. A couple of hundred words a day is a good start.
Sometimes the simplest steps can be the hardest, but also the most beneficial. Encourage your students to constantly rethink their writing process and they’ll reap the benefits.
We made Rough Draft to help with the drafting process and encourage writing “flow”. Try it for free below and discover how it can help your students: