3. Every essay needs an essay plan
You wouldn’t go on a road trip without a map and essays are just the same.
Before your teen starts writing an essay they should make a quick plan of what they’re going to write about.
An essay plan does not have to be a big thing. Not at all. It only takes a few minutes but will save your teen SO much time overall.
Essay plans instantly give an essay structure, they prevent you from forgetting to include any important points, and they prevent you from losing your way as you write.
An essay plan can be quickly scribbled in a margin, or the first page of an exam book that isn’t marked.
4. Revise and Edit
This depends on what situation the essay is being written in.
If it’s being written for homework and your teen doesn’t have the time pressure of an exam, it can be a good idea to go and do something else for a while once they’ve finished writing. You know when you come back to look at something you’ve written and you see all the little mistakes you didn’t notice before? This is why.
Your teen should check that the paragraphs are written in a logical order. Simply put – does the essay make sense? Does each paragraph follows SEXI? Get them to read their essay aloud (or in their head) so they can see how it flows (or doesn’t as it may be).
If the essay is being written in an exam your teen won’t have the luxury of time. So the number one rule here is: stay until the end! While it may seem like eternity to a high school student, exams aren’t actually that long. And a few minutes of proof reading can often make the difference between one grade and another. It’s worth staying right to the end.
5. Practice makes perfect
Writing essays can be practiced! Many students go through a whole year at school and only do one or two practice essays (that they were forced to do). They may know the subject backwards, but if they don’t know how to write a good essay then they’re screwed.
Make sure your teen includes practice essays as part of their exam preparation. Getting a hold of past exams and using them to practice is a great idea. If you can then have a read of their work yourself that’s fantastic. They might need an adult eye to pick up something that’s not quite right.
Even better, get your teen to ask their teacher to mark it. Most teachers would love an interested student to ask them to mark a practice essay!