Understanding the Purpose of Writing Assignments
Oftentimes, older students feel like a writing assignment is “thrown at them” perhaps unexpectedly, with seemingly unreasonable expectations of essay length, research requirements, and essay due dates. These experiences can sour even the most interested writer about current writing assignments and even assignments yet to come. But taking some time to understand the purpose of the assignment’s topic, length, and research required can provide motivation for the older student to write well.
You can help your child with understanding the purpose for writing assignments by engaging in conversation about the topic and why it is important to understand it. How does the topic impact society? Does it impact his or her academic preparation? How might understanding more about this topic broaden your teen’s own perspective on the world?
Answers to these questions and more can help your child “warm up” to the assignment at hand as he or she sees value in the time and effort required.
Allowing for Freedom
Luckily, in today’s technological world, young writers have many, many options for completing their writing tasks. Whether they choose to draft in handwriting, on a desktop computer, a tablet, or even a smartphone, students can work in many different environments. They may even be moving between many tech choices as they complete their projects.
They can also work in different locations! How about outside on a sunny deck? In a coffee shop, sipping a latte? Or at your nice quiet and cool local library?
Your positive and encouraging attitude toward your teen’s formal writing experiences can make a difference in his or her success or failure. Express your willingness to support the venture, providing practical assistance as well as brainstorming for the topic. Soon your attitude will be contagious, and your child will feel the confidence he or she needs for current and future formal writing endeavors.
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