Essay-writing phobia is a thing. Maybe it’s because curating ideas backed by evidence can be a challenging task, or perhaps it’s because of the strict time limits and deadlines that come with classroom assignments and testing schedules. Generating material becomes even more difficult when you are given a topic you are not interested in.
Many variables can lead to writer’s block, but one thing is for sure: writing is a critical part of communication, and we can’t ignore it.
We decided to talk to one of Northport’s best writing teachers on campus, Kristin Hughes, who draws on a decade of teaching experience. She shared her thoughts on how to craft an incredible essay and here are three sure ways to help your student get words on paper when all else fails:
Start and end with a zinger!
Always bring the reader in with something exciting. Onomatopoeia, alliteration and questions are just a few ways to hook them into continuing to read. Ending your essay with something interesting keeps your reader thinking about your writing, which is exactly what you want in most cases.
Plan, plan, plan.
“Failing to plan is a plan to fail” isn’t just a saying. Without a plan, you may be deep into your essay but become worn out and hit writer’s block. Or just as bad, you could veer way off topic and have to backtrack. Having a plan before you begin writing can help remind you of the amazing ideas you wanted to portray in your essay.
Stay true to yourself.
A superb essay requires you to use your voice. Even if your prompt is about something not very interesting, you can (and should) add your own unique tone and perspective to it. This simple method can change how the reader sees that subject.
Your words have power – use them wisely!
Kristin Hughes has been teaching at Northport K-8 for nine years. She is currently serving the gifted students of fifth grade and continues to bring valuable knowledge and experience to the table.
“Teaching has always been such an integral part of who I am,” said Hughes. “I love getting to work with students and helping them see the incredible potential that they all possess to make a significant impact on our world.“
Her favorite subject to teach is writing because of its ability to offer a creative outlet in the classroom that cannot always be achieved through other subjects. However, her passion for writing extends far beyond bringing a pencil to paper. Navigating the way students think and feel about topics helps her build student-teacher relationships that last a lifetime.
“I get to learn who students are through their writing,” said Hughes. “Words have the power to bring life, joy, pain and so much more. We must learn how to write to share the amazing ideas that lie within us. Through writing, we ensure that our voices live on and will never be silenced.”