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.
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When you sit down to teach your children essay writing you might not initially know where to begin. Essay writing is the cornerstone of any education and half or more of the subjects your kids are likely to tackle in their school lifetime will require essay writing skills.
Writing tips for kids are something that will take them from being a mediocre student to one that shines. Confidence when writing is something that can truly be learned – very few people are born with this important skill. That’s good news, in fact. Like anything worthwhile doing, all great writing takes is practice and dedication.
How to inspire your kids to love writing
It’s true: Your kids may not be thrilled when they are first faced with an essay writing task, but writing skills are very important for their future educational and emotional development. The most important thing to keep in mind is that children might initially have difficulties in expressing themselves. That’s OK!
Teaching your children essay writing might seem like it requires a lot of effort on your behalf – but it needn’t! Here’s a basic, step by step guide to get you on your way to helping out your children with their essay writing skills. This easy list will equip you with all the things you need to do to help your children improve their grades at school and contribute to their future. It’s so important to teach your children essay writing. Here’s how.
Teach Your Children Essay Writing in 5 Steps
Step 1: Start with basics
Lots of kids aren’t great with grammar. Grammar takes time to learn and many parents and guardians simply don’t correct their young children enough, which is doing them a disservice. Some parents might even find these little mistakes cute, funny or charming – but that’s where very young children get into trouble later in life.
Some common grammatical errors made by children are listed by writer Amanda Morin here. Phrases like, ““I goedto the store with Daddy so we could buy traps to catch the mouses,” or, “I’d rather have cookies then cake.”
You need to correct your children and equip them with the basics of spelling and grammar. You don’t have to deliver a massive lecture on writing concepts or run the whole grammar gauntlet in one day. Do this step by step, correct them gently when they make a mistake and select grammar and spelling practices which are appropriate for their grade, age, and essay requirements.
Step 2: Create an outline
When spending time with young children we can see them struggling to find the correct words when speaking; this is even more apparent when they’re tasked with writing. The vast majority of children are not initially confident when expressing their thoughts on paper, so it’s an important step to teach your children essay writing in a sensible way.
To help your children with essay writing, teach them how to create a structure of the message or story they want to tell. When they perfect this, creating an outline for an essay becomes easier. Once your kids understand “logical context”, their mission is half accomplished. Impart the importance of structure: an introduction, body of the essay (including arguments and structured thoughts), and a well-thought out conclusion. Have them practise with something fun, such as an age appropriate story or fairytale.
Step 3: Provide examples and practise a lot
Give your kids examples! Children work better when they have some examples of what they are trying to do lying in front of them. This tactic, called “learning by example”, will help your children get more ideas about creating their own essay papers.
Work on these together and add some creativity to the task. If your kids are young, find fun examples of coordinated text and ask them to point out what structure a piece of writing has – for example, where the beginning, middle and end is. Make sure you don’t overload your kids with tasks either; do the work in small bursts and keep them engaged. Reward them with something fun, such as stickers or colourful pens, or even a new book or two.
Step 4: Don’t push your kids too much
Essay writing is a very hard and complex task; even most adults find it challenging! Don’t put too much pressure on children when they ask for assistance. Check out online services such as Spider Essay Help for advice and take it easy. Striving for perfection is never the best way to get your children immersed in a writing task.
Give them plenty of breaks and lots of encouragement. When they make an error, make sure you are gentle with them so you don’t affect their confidence levels. Setting them up for success in this way will give them more confidence at school. Praise them when they do well and offer positive reinforcement.
Step 5: Read to your children and encourage them to read on their own
It should go without saying but all great writers started as readers. Make reading fun! When kids are little (even from when they are babies) read to them: fairy tales, interesting stories and books designed for kids.
Find out what subjects your kids love; they might surprise you! Do they love dinosaurs, science, bugs, or stories about witches and wizards? Choose age appropriate books that they will find a genuine interest in.
When you are reading to your children, you’ll notice that they’ll definitely catch some words out of the text, and even remember them almost perfectly. This increases their word capacity and vocabulary. Educate your children to love reading on their own. Give them a couple of different books of one or two genres, and ask their opinions.
Easy essay tips for kids
It’s important to remember that writing can be as difficult a subject to teach and assess as it is to learn. You, as a parent, need a lot of patience while teaching your children. Remember to enjoy your time together and build a stronger rapport with your kids. This is where parent involvement can make a big difference to their learning outcomes.
When you teach your children essay writing you are giving them a lifelong skill. Encouraging your children to develop strong writing skills at a young age is a very worthwhile activity and may make all the difference to their future school success. Essay writing skills can have a lifelong positive impact on a child’s writing and may make essay writing an easier and more enjoyable process throughout their lives.
How to Teach Your Children Essay Writing | Easy Essay Tips for Kids
Writing an essay is the cornerstone of any child’s education. Here’s how to teach your children essay writing in 5 simple, easy to follow tips.
Alyce Vayle | Content Strategist