Tips for teaching your child how to write essays

Tips for Teaching Your Kids How to Write an Essay

Tips for teaching your child how to write essays

By Sandra Miller

Your kids may not be thrilled when they are first faced with an essay writing task, but writing skills are very important for their future educational and emotional development. Although it can be difficult for you to teach them how to write an essay and start loving that activity, your effort won’t be left without results. The most important thing to keep in mind is that children have difficulties in expressing themselves in a structured from that requires crafting strong sentences.

If essay writing is mission impossible for your children and you really want to teach them how to write, you should work on your own skills first. You need an organized and methodical approach that will make it easy for them to understand what you are trying to say.

Start with the basics

The first thing you need to make sure of is that your children have a basic understanding of spelling and grammar concepts, which are appropriate for their grade, age, and essay writing requirements. If your children’s education lacks these building blocks, you will only confuse them with the attempt of teaching them more complicated writing skills. The result will be nothing more than frustration to both you and your children.

After you make sure that their knowledge is ready to be advanced to the essay writing stage, you should start by introducing the concept of a thesis. The first difficulty children face is directing their essays and keeping them focused. If your children struggle with writing concepts, you can provide thesis prompts or thesis statements for them. Once your children advance their writing skills, they will easily think of their own thesis statements. The thesis should be the main point around which the essay is written. Make sure to explain to them that every page, every paragraph, and every sentence within the essay, no matter how short or long it is, should be associated to the thesis statement.

Advanced stages: Creating an outline

The next step of the process is explaining your kids how to create an outline of the writing. The outline will help them maintain the logical progression from the beginning to the end of the paper. Once your kids understand sentence construction, they may have difficulties in keeping the logical context within the paper because they will be focused solely on creating sentence units that are grammatically correct, expressive, and cohesive. You should teach them how to relate those sentences to one another and stick to the outline.

Explain the meaning and purpose of the introductory and concluding paragraphs, and tell them how to structure the paragraphs in between in a logical order.

Key to success: examples and practice

If you provide examples of good essays to your children, they will immediately get ideas on creating their own papers. They won’t understand what you are trying to say if your approach to teaching is based solely on explanations. You need to be as hands-on as your kids need during the development of their first essays. Once they develop an increased confidence in their abilities, they will be able to work on their own. It is easy to find essay examples online and use them to show your kids what works and what doesn’t work in essay writing.

Practice is the key to perfection. There isn’t a more effective way of teaching children how to write essays than helping them practice as many times as possible. You should make the process interesting, so they won’t see it as a torture. Once you provide them with the conceptual foundation of knowledge, you should help them implement that knowledge through practice.

Remember: striving for perfection is out of the question when you’re teaching your kids something. Don’t put too much pressure on them and don’t require impossible achievements. Essay writing is a very useful skill that will increase their vocabulary and improve their skills of grammar, so you should approach the teaching process with those humble goals on your mind.

Sandra MillerSandra Miller is a freelance writer at editing service Help.Plagtracker. She is extremely passionate about latest trends in education technology. Sandra keeps developing her writing style and exploring different types of fiction. Currently she’s taking her first steps toward writing a YA novel.


29 thoughts on “Tips for Teaching Your Kids How to Write an Essay

  1. very helpful. Thank you

  2. There are different writing courses online that can truly provide parents and kids interactive education in terms of writing, grammar and comprehension; doing different types of literary pieces can really give voices to their creative minds and opening an opportunity for their growth. Helpful article!

  3. You are a wonder mom! It’s hard to teach kids nowadays. You need a lot of patience. But your task would not be so hard if you’re enjoying and make rapport on your kids. Essay writing may be difficult to understand by a kid at early age. However, it will help to them to develop their writing skills

  4. Very useful, thanks! Yes, practice is the best approach.
    But I disagree that essay writing skills is compulsory for everybody. What about tech specializations, if child is a fan of math and physics it’s not good to enforce him to write an essay. Let him do what he want!

    1. Plurilinguist says:

      Actually, being a fan of maths and physics means you will probably need essay-writing skills MORE. My brother is an engineer, and he just got through telling me how lack of proper organisation and correct language on reports has cost his company thousands of dollars on several occasions. I think we make the mistake of assigning humanities skills only to the humanities and science skills only to the science-driven professions. I work in foreign languages, and these days an engineer. doctor or scientist is as likely (if not more likely) to need a foreign language as a mid-level businessperson. Similarly, engineers, doctors and scientists write many reports both internally and for worldwide consumption. They often have to make presentations, which are based on the same base skills as essay-writing.

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  7. They’re angry, frustrated, and scared. Too many have already given up on themselves and the world around them. So the answer to your question is that it depends on where you’re teaching. Administrative and mentor support is crucial and, sadly, rare. In most states, the emphasis is on analyzing test data and “teaching to the test.

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