Essay writing is a task that almost every child hates. Even the word ‘essay’ causes tears, tantrums and a whole lot of stress. The thing is, if your child has any chance of being a successful student, they need to have high-quality essay writing skills.
Essay writing is the cornerstone of education, and your child will need to know how to use that skill if they are to succeed. They may not love it now, but as a parent you can show them just how valuable it is.
The teacher assigns an essay with broad guidelines, and your little student is expected to deliver a masterful piece by a precise deadline. You’ll probably face a very frustrated child at this point. Your kid is supposed to write an entire paper, but no one taught them how to do that.
The good news is that most essay-related arguments are caused because kids aren’t sure how to go about creating a good essay. Because they don’t know how to structure the text or what to put where, it takes them hours, which makes essay writing a task that they hate.
Writing an essay may not be the easiest of jobs but you can certainly become better at it.
To help you teach your child to be a more successful essay writer, here are a few useful tips.
Teach them about essay structure.
Start with the basics
Before you start writing essays with your child, look to see if they have the basics of grammar, spelling and sentence structure down.
The key to success when it comes to essay writing is practice. The problem is that most schools only ask children to write one or two practice essays a term. This means that they’re not getting enough practice to improve their assignment writing skills.
The writing practice is not applied in the classroom. Teachers may give brief exercises, but what they prefer doing is using the classroom time for lessons and leaving the practice part as a homework activity. So, you’re in charge of that part of your kid’s education.
Explain the concept of a thesis
Many children find it difficult to stay focused on their essay, because there’s too many ideas they’re trying to include. he thesis is the central point of an essay, and what every single sentence in the piece should focus on. Tell your child to note down anything that they find that could be useful as they can then use it to support their essay topic. Research doesn’t have to be dull, if you help your child and make it fun, they’ll learn to enjoy it.
If you want your kid to write great essays, you need to motivate them to write a lot. Think of a theme of the day. What did they learn today?
Show them how to break a topic down
Essays can seem overwhelming, which can cause kids to panic about them. The best way you can make essay writing easier for them is to show them how to break the topic down.
An essay plan is a great tool as it allows them to draft the outline of the piece and the points they want to make, before writing it. This makes putting the essay together, much easier.
There’s lots of tools online that will help you teach your child about essay writing, so make sure you use them.
An essay usually consists of 5 paragraphs: an introduction, three body paragraphs, and a conclusion. Teachers usually explain what each paragraph is supposed to contain when assigning the first essay to the class. However, sometimes they forget to provide examples, so the students have no idea how the actual paper would look like.
This is where you introduce your topic and give the reader an idea of what to expect in the following paragraphs. Make sure you refer to each topic that will occur in the rest of the essay, in the order in which they appear. To put it briefly, the first paragraph gives an overview of the whole essay.
Paragraphs 2 – 4
One of the main requirements for an essay is cohesion. If you assign a topic and let your kid write whatever comes to his or her mind, you’ll end up reading a disconnected essay that the teacher won’t like.
Create outlines and plan
An essay can feel daunting if you’re not sure how you’re going to write it. Show your child how to plan out an essay by writing up an outline. A good outline will help them see where they’re going next, and link all the parts together.
There are no specific rules for the body of the essay, except that they must be logically linked with one another. If, for instance, you’re writing an essay on training a dog in 5 steps, do not include the first 3 steps in a single paragraph and your personal experience in the conclusion. Each paragraph of the body must have a single point and be supported by 3 or 4 sub-points.
This is where you conclude your essay by reiterating Paragraph 1 and providing a brief synopsis of Paragraphs 2 – 4. Here you need to tie all the separate points together in a logical manner.
Conclude with an impressive statement that will stay with the reader and make sure you don’t overlook any loose ends.