Sunday, September 11, 2011

Improve Writing

Now on the other end of the spectrum I have Brandon who can spit out an essay like it's nothing. Yes, his flow is good and his ideas are complete and nicely laid out. But, I feel he can do better so, we look at the vocabulary.

It is amazing how using a synonym can spruce up an essay not to mention adding to his vocabulary. Making a word change will also enhance an essay. Let's take a look at this sentence.

The cat laid lazily on the porch in the sunlight.

Now let's look at the changes.

The feline on the veranda basked in the sunlight.

See the difference? Encouraging students to make word changes will make a good essay into a fantastic essay. The thing is they are so proud and amazed at what comes from those changes.

I encourage Brandon to read each sentence/paragraph out loud and then go back and make changes. Reading your writing out loud helps to hear what the reader will be reading allowing for decisions in changes or even adding on for more depth.

Brandon uses Microsoft Word for his essays, while this is a great resource students need to be mindful of mistakes. If a word is wrong for a sentence, but spelled correctly it will go unnoticed. Thus another reason to read what you have written.

All the punctuation rules can be hard to remember, find a good source to review them as needed. We just revert back to English curriculum we have used in the past. We even have our Shurley English from 5th grade just because I love the way the writing process is taught.

When searching for online resources be sure to check for accreditation. I usually look for those associated with a college, school, library or teacher.

100 Little Ways You Can Dramatically Improve Your Writing

Purdue OWL is a great resource.

1 comment:

  1. We have headed backwards a little with writing this week with my 9 year old and doing more of a basic building block like Writing Strands ... personally I just think she is a little lazy when it comes to the writing ...

    Keeping this page open til my 13 yr old gets back from the library tho, since she is my writer and I like your approach!
    happy weekend xxx