For most of us, summer vacation seems like it was ages ago. We are going full force at school. Students are already working on daily homework and long-term projects. English teachers are teaching their students the writing process—prewriting, drafting, revising, proofreading, publishing. This process is so important to use for all writing assignments, yet often students do not do it.
Many students do not thoughtfully plan out what they are going to write. They simply start writing and whatever ends up on the page is what they turn in. The problem with this is that it usually lacks organization, and it is unclear what the point of the writing is. A much better process is to start out by brainstorming the topic to look for patterns and links between ideas. (Brainstorming is one form of prewriting.) In that way, students can choose a thesis and decide how to organize the paper so that it makes a strong point.
The other part of the writing process that students tend to skip is the proofreading stage. When I read my own work, it is so easy to skip over an error because I know what I wanted to say and think that’s what is on the page! When I use a text-to-speech reader to read back what I wrote, I can much more easily hear my errors. There are free readers available on the web. Check out my earlier blog on text-to-speech readers.
Encourage your child to go through all the steps of the writing process. In this way she will turn in her best work and her writing will improve.
You might also enjoy reading Eight Steps to a Strong Paragraph and Editing Checklist Can Help Improve Your Child’s Writing.