Writing is an age-old channel to express our innermost thoughts and lets us share them with others. It is a form of communication that transcends time. Humans have been using writing to pass stories from one generation to the next since the beginning of time. But what is the actual importance of teaching writing in schools? And what are the ways to accomplish it? These are the questions we are going to explore from hereon.
Writing develops multiple skills in a student. It leads them to focus on phonics, sentence mechanics and comprehension. Furthermore, it teaches them the best way to communicate the most inexpressible thoughts. Each writer has a unique voice and perspective, which is a big contribution to the world in its own right.
Writing goes beyond than just writing essays to pass an exam during your academic phase. As an employee, companies prefer individuals who can communicate effectively through writing. Writing has not become obsolete despite us inhabiting a digital era. Emails, online customer services, faxes and or website blogs all need the ability to string together well-formed sentences.
How to improve writing skills in students?
As a teacher it might be the difficult task indeed to involve students into the process of writing. Some pupils are reluctant to open up themselves on the page, while others find it simply boring. With the help of these tips and techniques you are sure to develop writing skills in any student:
Set certain rules
Let the students know clearly that you value thoughtful and well-structured writing. There should be the rule of penalizing, to discourage students from submitting poorly written assignments. From the first day of your class, pupils should know that they need to put in their best efforts when it specifically comes to writing.
Assign writing exercise regularly
In between lectures, vary the pace a bit by asking students to write for a while. A combination of writing in class, assignments and open-ended exam questions will give students ample ways to practice. Integrate technology as well in lessons, by giving worksheets to improve writing skills online.
When you have given a homework assignment, provide detailed guidance for the writing process. Discuss the necessity of taking down notes and creating outlines before the actual draft. Explain how to choose and narrow down a topic for projects. It is also important to define plagiarism in all its forms so students do not commit it unintentionally.
Go farther than just obtaining a grade
Dispel the idea that the ultimate goal of writing is acquiring a top grade. Make small groups in class who analyze and discuss each other’s work. This improves critical thinking and opens up different ways to observe the same thing.
Writing is a way to clarify ideas
Introduce the concept that writing is not simply an ability, but is a way to learn more. Hence, making mistakes is allowed. Regardless of how expert a writer you are, the process never ceases to be messy, complicated and full of false starts. Help them identify the key activities of a writer which are:
• Concept development
• Finding a thesis
• Composing drafts
• Getting comments and feedback from others
• Draft revisions
• Editing the finalized piece
Do not hesitate in sharing with the class your own difficulties with writing. They will respect you all the more for it and will stop fearing the task. It will help them understand that writing take a lot of time and effort so they won’t get so easily discouraged. Teachers can even share their own notes, drafts, manuscripts or any early attempts at writing with the pupils. They will relate to it and won’t berate themselves upon their gradual progress.
Hold class discussions
Offer students to talk about what they have written. If you have discussions upon the papers in progress, everyone can organize their thoughts, focus and generate ideas. Reserve 5 or 10 mins of the class for students to read their work to each other. Let them share comments and views on how it can be presented in an even better manner.
Stress upon the importance of grammar
The first thing you need to tell your students is that content, grammar, and sentence structure go hand in hand. The quality of the work depends as much on how they write along with what they are writing about. Refrain from accepting work that shows poor usage of grammar and sentence formations.
Writing is definitely a skill that takes a lifelong to master. Each time we put our pencil to the paper or are tapping away on the keyboard, there are new challenges to face. Practicing frequently is the only key to become successful at writing.