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Esl Essay Writing Activity

Their college life is impossible to imagine without paper work, and that is why it is very important for them to know how to write an essay, an assignment, a dissertation, a composition, etc. So, your task as a teacher is to tell them how to write an essay write and be able to express their thoughts clearly. How to do that? What aspects to pay attention to in order your students could become the best essay writers?

Here you are welcome to find some tips concerning the most important essay aspects to tell your students about. Step by step, you will make it much easier for them to understand the principles of essay writing and their importance for their future practice.

  • Topic

    It is obvious, that the very first thing your students should think of before writing an essay is its topic. Remember, that an essay is not only about writing skills, but it demonstrates the ability of your students to research as well. So, you task is to teach them to research. That is why try to reject the chosen topics if they are too easy for a student, and you see that it will not take much time to write such a essay.

    An essay is not an essay without any research. Explain your students, that it is always better for them to choose a topic they understand well and have an opportunity to make a research on. Good research capability is important for every student to get, that is why do not forget practicing different research tactics with them: tell in details about the methods they can use to find all the information needed, how to use this info wisely, and what are the best ways to distinguish the important facts.

  • Purpose

    Informative and well-styles essays are impossible to write without a purpose. An essay can not be just a piece of writing about general things everybody knows and understands perfectly. So, teach your students that they should not be in a hurry to write their essays at once they've chosen the topic. Make them decide upon the purpose of an essay.

    When a student perfectly understands what he writes an essay for, it will be much easier for him to draw the outline and start writing.

  • Examples

    The process of teaching is impossible without examples. For your students to understand what a good piece of writing actually is, just give them some examples of excellent essays. It may be an essay of your former student for example. When they see a sample, your students will have an idea what a good essay should look like.

    Use samples to tell students about each element their essays should include. They will perfectly understand what the good introduction is, what an informative body of an essay should look like, and how to make an appropriate conclusion. Moreover, your students will also have an opportunity to see how sentences are built, and what grammar constructions are used in an essay.

  • Outline

    The last thing to do before starting to write an essay is to make its outline. Choose some topic and make a list of points your students would need to mention if they wrote an essay on it. Such a technique will give them a better understanding of what and essay is, and how it should be written.

    Make sure that all students perfectly understand the fact they should follow an essay outline, because it will be much easier for them to write this piece of paper. Make it clear to them that every point of the outline should start from a new paragraph. Moreover, the smaller these paragraphs are – the more attractive an essay will look for its readers. It is not very comfortable to read very long paragraphs, as it will be more difficult to get the point in such a way. Eventually, it will be easier for students themselves to compose shorter paragraphs of an essay.

  • Introduction

    Finally, it is time to start writing an essay. And here comes its most important part that is called an introduction. As a rule, students find it very difficult to write this part of their essay, as they do not know how to start a piece of writing in order to attract readers' attention and tell them shortly about what this essay is about.

    It is clear, that an essay will not be good without a proper and attractive beginning, so, your task is to explain this moment to your students. Tell them, that no one will continue reading their essays if they do not make it eye-catchy and clear for a potential reader. Moreover, an essay introduction should be intriguing a bit.

    Depending on the topic of an essay, students can start it with a story from their personal experience. This is a good way to grab an attention. Discuss this option with your students, listen to their suggestions. Discussions will help them learn the material better.

  • Conclusion

    We have already mentioned the outline of an essay, that will help your students write the body of their essay right. Now it is high time for a conclusion, which is not less important than an introduction by the way. It is a real art to finish your writing in a way your reader would feel good and satisfied with everything he has read.

    Tell your students how to conclude their essays appropriately. Explain, that it is not good to abrupt a piece of writing. And do not forget to mention, that a conclusion of their essay should contain a summary if all points they discussed in the body!

    To summarize everything mentioned above, we can say that the importance of essay writing skills should not be underestimated. Such skills will help students express their thoughts clearly and write really good and even professional essays and other kinds of paper work during their further study at colleges or universities. Be sure, they will thank you for teaching such a necessary information to them.

  • This is a guest article by Alex Strike. Alex is a copywriter of Essay-All-Stars.com website and a passionate reader of Stephen King's books.

    It makes sense. Students who are near the start of their English studies are not going to have the tools to write a five paragraph essay or take an essay exam. But completely eliminating writing assignments for beginning students doesn’t help them in the long run. For these students, short writing assignments are best. When they can write a few sentences that serve a practical purpose, they will see the progress they have made in English as well as the practical applications of that knowledge. When you have a class of beginners and are looking for some interesting short writing assignments for your students, here are some ideas.

  • The Simple Paragraph

    One of the first writing assignments any student receives is writing a composed paragraph. Just about any topic you are teaching in class can be the subject of a paragraph. When you break the paragraph into smaller elements, your students will see that four to six sentences do not have to be overwhelming. The first element of a paragraph is the topic sentence. This sentence gives the reader the main point of the paragraph. The last sentence of a paragraph, when it stands alone, is a concluding sentence. It gives some final thoughts about the topic. In between are two to four sentences that expand the idea, give examples, or argue a point. For example, a simple paragraph about fall might look like this. Note the use of color words and fall vocabulary.

    Fall is a beautiful season.(introductory sentence)Green leaves change to red, orange and yellow. People use brightly colored pumpkins and gourds as decorations. The sky is blue, and the wind is soft.(supporting sentences)I enjoy fall in the U.S.(concluding sentence)

  • Postcards

    For so many students, studying English means travelling overseas. For these students, every day is a chance to experience something new. They can share their experiences with others with a simple postcard written in English. Postcards follow a standard format that can give your students practice with the simple past or present progressive tenses. They are also a great way to apply vocabulary about vacation or geography. Standard postcards have five simple parts.

    1. The greeting
    2. A sentence about where you are
    3. One or two sentences about what you are doing or have done
    4. A closing
    5. A signature

    When students follow this formula, their postcard will look like the following.

    Dear _____,
    I am in _________. We are having a great time. Yesterday we __________. Monday we ___________. Wish you were here.
    Love, _________

  • Emails

    Today we live in a world filled with technology, and no technology is more popular than email. In the past, people wrote letters to each other, but email has almost entirely replaced written correspondence. What makes emails easier to write than letters and therefore less intimidating for ESL students? They are shorter and more informal than writing personal letters. If your students have email addresses either through the school or personal ones, have them write you a short email for homework or to ask questions before the next test. You can also email your students a simple question and have them answer it as part of their homework. The topic doesn’t have to be special or complicated. Just getting a few sentences on the screen will be enough for many beginning students.

  • Memo

    Many students study English to further their business careers, but not all business English students have advanced language skills. To keep their writing practical but still keep its goals attainable, have your students write a memo. Memos follow a certain format; they must include lines for to, from, date and subject. Memo bodies are often very short; even two or three sentences is enough for a memo. Review the standard memo format with your students, and if you like show them how to use a template via their word processing program. Then have students write a memo announcing a team meeting, alerting their coworkers of an audit, describing a new product or any other subject that could be related to thier business. When your students have completed this assignment, they will find that even beginning language studies can have practical applications in the workplace.

  • Personal Ad

    Whether your students are interested in the dating game or not, a personal ad is a simple and practical way to practice writing in English. Show your students some personal ads either from the paper or on a website like Craig’s List. Have them notice what type of information these ads contain. Then have your students write an ad of their own. Using the simple present, your students should be able to communicate enough information about themselves to attract the right person. They might include a sentence about how they look, a sentence on what they like to do, and a sentence on what they want in a match. If your students are up to it, have them submit their personal ad for publication or just post them in your classroom and have the class try to match each ad to a classmate.

  • A Thank You Note

    Hand written notes are few and far between in today’s culture, but almost everyone appreciates receiving one. And if we think for just a few minutes, most of us can name something and someone we are thankful for. Your beginning students should be able to write a simple thank you note, and you can teach them this pattern to do it. It only takes familiarity with the simple present and the simple future to write this type of note.

    Dear _______,
    Thank you for the __________. Insert a sentence saying what you like about it. Insert a saying how you will use it. I appreciate your thoughtfulness (or generosity).
    Sincerely,
    _________

  • These simple writing assignments might be just enough to challenge your beginning level students and at the same time prevent them from becoming overwhelmed. An added bonus is they are also practical and have real life applications. If you use them, you may see your students’ confidence increase and their motivation to learn English continue to be strong.

    What writing assignments do you assign your beginning students?

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