He’s not alone. Many students have trouble putting their thoughts down on paper. If your child is stuck at the start of a writing project, give him these tips for writing a report:

Start early. Writing takes time. If a report is due next week, don’t let your child put it off. Set aside some time to help him think through what he might write.

Jot down ideas. Tell your child he should make a list of everything he knows about the subject of his report. These don’t need to be complete sentences. Just a word or two will do. When he’s made the list, he may be surprised at what he already knows.

Talk out your ideas. Ask him to tell you what he’d like to say. After he’s had a chance to say it, have him try to write a draft.

Start in the middle. The first few sentences are often the hardest to write, so tell your child to write them last.

Put the draft aside. The next day, have your child read what he’s written. You read it, too. Talk about what works. Then have him think about what he can do to make it even better.

Rewrite the essay. Check to see if words are spelled correctly and that capital letters and periods are in the right places.

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