Writing is an essential component of education. There are various strategies, ideas, and recommendations that the teacher can use to improve student writing. It is a common thought that teaching writing is the sole responsibility of the English department. But it is actually the responsibility of all teachers to make students learn writing because it is an essential tool for even learning discipline.
Why there is a need to improve student writing?
First, let the students understand why there is a need to improve writing. They must know the value of good writing and the teachers must tell students that good writing will be rewarded and poor writing will be penalized. Throughout the term, it is essential to remind students that they must make their best effort in expressing themselves on paper or they will perform poorly. Teachers can back up the statements with comments on early assignments that show you really mean it, and your students will respond accordingly.
Techniques that English teachers can follow:
• Assign brief writing exercises: English teachers can ask students to write a few minutes during class. The combination of in-class writing, outside writing assignments, and exams with open-ended questions will provide the students with the practice they need to improve their writing.
• Guidance in the writing process: Once the assignments are completed then discuss the value of outlines and notes, explain how to select and narrow a topic, and critique the first draft of the assignment.
• Check every piece of student’s writing: You can ask students to check each other’s work during class, or discuss their work in small groups. Students will understand that they are writing in order to think more clearly, not obtain a grade or mark. Further, you can collect students’ papers and check their work.
• Consult other teachers: It is essential for English teachers to consult other teachers who are looking towards ways to improve student writing. You can together draw few guidelines toward this process. Provide instructions to the students on how to write papers for a particular course or in a particular subject area.
Techniques that non-English teachers follow
• Tell students good writing will clarify their ideas: You must tell the students that writing is a way of learning, not an end in itself. Teachers should let them know that writing is a complicated, messy, nonlinear process filled with false starts. Help them to identify the writer’s key activities like developing various ideas, finding a focus and then composing a draft. It is essential to provide feedback on that draft and revise it by expanding ideas, clarifying the meaning, reorganizing.
• Explain that good writing comes with hard work: Students must know that writing requires hard work. Once they know that writing takes effort, they won’t be discouraged by their own progress. You can share with students your notebook that contains your work so that students are inspired by that.
• Provide students opportunities to talk about their writing: It is highly recommended that students talk about papers in progress so that they can formulate their thoughts, generate ideas, and focus their topics. You can use five or ten minutes of class time for students to read their writing to each other in small groups or pairs. It’s essential for students to hear what others have written.
• Ask students to revise their work: Teachers can provide formal steps for revision by asking students to submit first drafts of papers for your review. You can also provide an opportunity for your students to revise or rewrite assignments during the semester for a higher grade.
These are some of the ways by which teachers who are non-English faculty can contribute to improve student writing. Usually, a common student problem is to write papers that present overviews of facts with clarity. If the topic is difficult then that will require more concentration of the student because academic jargons will camouflage rather than clarify their point. Students must not have an assumption that English teachers are the only judges of grammar and style.
You should make it clear to the students that you will be looking at both the quality of their writing and the content. Irrespective of the fact that you are an English teacher or a non-English teacher you have a lot to contribute to improve student writing. If you are looking forward to know about the writing techniques then visit RSGlobaldesk and get enough information on this.