Category Archives: Essay Editing

How to improve your writing

How to improve your writing

Writing can seem like an impossible task when you’re learning English. The good news is that with a bit of practice, you’ll be writing with ease in no time.  Let’s take a look at different ways to improve your writing.

This may sound a bit strange, but read as much as you can.  You’ll be amazed at how many writing tips you can pick up by simply reading. You’ll pick up the writing tone, different styles and new phrases, all of which will help you.

Next, try writing and ask someone to read what you’ve written. I know feedback can be tough sometimes, but finding out if you’re getting your ideas across is an important step in improving your writing.  It can be scary at first, but can be the most rewarding bit of the writing process.  Ask a friend, teacher or classmate for their feedback.  Did they understand your text?  Did they enjoy it?  This can help you understand what worked and what didn’t. Don’t take it personally, and focus on what needs improving.

You don’t always have to write long pieces of text to improve your writing.  With all the social media platforms out there, you could try microblogging or getting involved in forums and chats in areas you’re interested in. If you are organising a book club, you could also write down your thoughts before you go.

Another easy way to practise your writing is to keep a diary.  It can be as simple as writing down what you did during the day.  Or you could treat your diary as a notebook for ideas to develop later on.  With writing, it’s not about the length of each text but it’s about writing as much  as you can in as many different situations as possible.

With a few minutes of consistent practice every day,  you will gain confidence in no time.

Introduction to Writing or “Why we revise and edit”

Introduction to Writing or “Why we revise and edit”
Introduction to Writing or “Why we revise and edit”

Rationale:

Let’s face it. Students wait until the last minute to write their essays or research papers then turn in their work full of run-ons, fragments, misspellings, and dangling modifiers. And then there are the weak paragraphs with lack of details and elaboration. The current student mindset is “I answered the question. I don’t need the extra stuff because I just got straight to the point.” To help students understand the research paper writing process, this activity is a metaphor for the research paper writing process illustrating the importance of revising and editing student work.

Objective:

Students will create a pencil holder or cup out of modeling compound and draw connections between creating the holder and improving their design to the research paper writing process.

Materials:

 Modeling compound such as Crayola modeling compound or Play Doh (*Note: If teacher would like for students to keep the final product, use an air drying compound as products like Play Doh do not dry thoroughly and will crumble. If teacher plans to reuse the compound, Play Doh works well but ask students not to blend the colors together. Another option is to ask students to bring their own.)

 Toothpicks or other tools that students may add details to sculpture

 Miscellaneous art materials to add to model such as mini pom poms, eyes, “jewels”, flowers, decals, etc
(*Note: Teacher may ask students to bring their own so they can decorate their own theme but have a few miscellaneous items for students who forget.)

Instructions:

Step 1: Begin discussion with the question “Why write a research paper?” Write the question on the chalk or whiteboard (or if you prefer, a large piece of kraft paper or something similar), then send students to the board or paper, 2-3 at a time, to answer the question. After everyone has had a chance to answer the question, review the comments with the group drawing arrows or circles to show connections between answers. (5 minutes)

Step 2: Pose the question “How is sculpting like the research paper writing process?” Lead students to discuss how the terms pre- writing, rough draft, revisions, editing, and final draft might relate to sculpting. (3-5 minutes).

Step 3: Pass out the modeling compound; each student should use one color to begin with. Leave toothpicks and decorating items for later. Instruct students in creating their pencil holders. The following script is provided to direct students, but, of course, teachers may create their own or improvise to suit their needs. Dough refers to the modeling compound as Play Doh is a specific brand of modeling compound and all students may not be using that particular brand.