Tools, Websites and Tips to Engage K-12 Students in Essay Writing

November 19, 2015
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Students constantly require information and inspiration. You cannot expect to engage them by giving one without the other. Some may love the essay writing process, while others struggle. All students learn in various ways and educators must be able to adapt accordingly.

Technology and the web are now providing an endless supply of support. Even for the best educator, essay writing can be a challenging subject.
Try these resources to appeal to your K-12 students.

Teen Ink, an online literary magazine for teens, offers resources in poetry, fiction, nonfiction, art and photography. The site also holds contests and summer programs that can be an excellent and fun way to nudge students into collaboration.

Hemingway was famous for his short sentences. When focusing on long-winded writing and editing chops for K-12 students, reference him and this application. It highlights issues clearly and offers acceptable suggestions.

3. NINJAESSAYS (fee-based resource, the blog section is free)
Ninjaessays is a community of over 400 trusted professional writers and tutors. Their editors perform a full structural analysis of any essay, making it useful for both educators and students. Besides, the website has a rather helpful blog section full of practical writing tips and infographics.

Extremely useful for K-5, this site presents educational and interactive games (printable and downloadable) focusing on grammar, punctuation, reading, writing and parts of speech.

5. TIME4WRITING (fee-based resource)
Time4Writing is a site dedicated to encouraging young writers. It is jam-packed with games and instructional videos and offers one-on-one tutoring for K-12 students.

6. Writing Guide "How to Write My Essay Due Tomorrow"
This guide will teach your students how to manage their time and write their essay in an easy and effective way. All students need to do is follow 7 simple writing steps to submit their essay on time.

Readwritethink provides a large supply of cooperative classroom resources (lessons plans, printouts and strategy guides) that are most effective for grades K-12.

RefME is most advantageous for older students. Citing sources and writing Bibliographies can be tedious and boring. The site can help students build theirs with confidence.

The following 5 tips are also effective at engaging students. When practiced in combination with outside sources, they can help achieve success.

1. PEER EDITING. Let your students review each other’s writing. Always create guidelines about positive criticism and honesty.

2. ONE-ON-ONE. Take time and put in effort. Get to know your students, their learning styles and fears about writing.

3. ENCOURAGE HIGHLIGHTING. Have students highlight sections of their assignments regarded as critical. A visual reminder and marker will aid in maintaining focus.

4. NEW VOCABULARY. If you teach new vocabulary, require students to use it in their next few assignments.

5. TAKE RISKS. Try new approaches and discover what works. Motivate students by switching it up. Every student can appreciate an enjoyable experience.

Your task as an educator, although not easy, is to shape young literary minds. Essay writing is a skill all students must learn and is required for countless career paths. There is always room for improvement and creative ways to connect. Use these strategies to drive your student’s enthusiasm and their accomplishments.

Author's bio:

Julie Petersen is a private English language tutor and a blogger, who features the latest career and educational trends in her articles. At present time she is running her educational blog AskPetersen and working on her first ebook dedicated to online learning. You may contact Julie via Linkedin.

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