For homeschooling parents: 3 essay writing tips to help your kids

Essay writing tips for homeschooling parents

For homeschooling parents during the COVID-19 lockdown (and any other time), providing the academic and emotional support your child needs can be a challenge. One of the projects they might have to write is an essay (or two or three of them…). If you’re not sure how to write a good essay, then you might stumble when helping the kids. Prepare now by knowing the essentials so that you can help them when they get the next essay project. Check out these three essay writing tips to help them do amazing in school.

What’s ahead isn’t easy but your child can excel once they get practice essay writing. They need to be able to do academic research, as well as gather their thoughts and come to a sensible conclusion. Also, they need to write with sophistication and structure their paragraphs well. So, when you’re teaching your child essay writing tips during a homeschooling session, what do you need to keep in mind?

Referencing

Referencing is arguably one of the most difficult and arduous elements of essay writing. While younger children won’t need to learn about this for a while, older students need to reference their work using the right formatting and understanding that there are different referencing methods.

So, as homeschooling parents, you need to teach them a referencing method and make sure that they understand how it works. There are various online sources that can help you if you’re unsure, like this website. If your child doesn’t understand the need for referencing, it’s important to teach them about plagiarism and the consequences.

If they want to go to college down the road, they will need to be able to reference and cite sources effectively. So, if you’re teaching multiple grades at once, it might be useful to teach all your children about referencing at once, so they understand it early on.

More essay writing tips: Structure

All good essays need to be logically structured. This means having an introduction, middle section and a conclusion. There are different ways to explain this format to a child, but an effective way is to compare an essay to a sandwich, with different layers.

The introduction says what they are going to say; the main body says it, and the conclusion says what they have just said. Simple, right? It may sound easy, but structuring an essay can be complicated, especially when it contains lots of different arguments and viewpoints.

Your child needs to be able to structure their essay so that it flows effectively. The best way to do so is to encourage them to plan the essay before writing it and work out where all their points should go. This way, you can check it first and make sure that everything flows.

Writing style

Teaching your child an academic writing style is essential in ensuring they write a good essay and will help them when they later go to college or university. While the essay might feature their own opinions, academic essays are typically written in the third person, using sophisticated vocabulary and varying sentence lengths.

Your son or daughter should use embedded quotes and the “point, evidence, explain” method to expand on their ideas. Also, make sure they use correct grammar, punctuation and spelling.

Encourage them to write paragraphs that flow into each other too. That takes practice!

Most importantly, their writing ought to be clear and answer the original question. If they’re struggling with the final one on this essay writing tips list, stick a post-it with the question at the top of their laptop screen for them to refer to regularly.

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