Guest post written by Grace Carter
Writing an essay is a good way for your child to think about a subject and develop a solid understanding of it. It also helps develop good writing skills for later in life. Most students will make mistakes along the way. Here are the most common mistakes found in homeschooled children’s essays and ways you can correct those mistakes.
Plagiarism will always be a problem with essay-writing whether your child is homeschooled or goes to a public school. It can come in several forms, too. Most people think of plagiarism as directly lifting writing from one source and passing it off as your own. However, it can also come about if a source is paraphrased and not cited correctly. Help your children avoid this by helping them learn to cite their sources.
Using Opinion Instead of Facts
An essay needs to be driven by research, logic, and evidence. If your child is writing an essay from his own opinions, it’s not going to be good quality writing. “If your child is doing this, show him the difference between opinion writing and factual writing,” says writer Will Otis at Essayroo. “Ask him which one he is more likely to believe is true and why.”
If you guide your children as they write, they’ll see that writing that’s backed up by evidence is the best way to persuade and inform readers.
Adding Too Many Arguments
You’ve told your child to back his essay up with strong evidence and arguments, so that’s exactly what he’s done. However, it means that he’s thrown in any evidence he can think of that might work. In a shorter essay, this becomes somewhat distracting and unreadable. Teach your child to pick his arguments and sources carefully. Will it back up the main point he’s trying to make? Does it directly support him? If not, he should skip it.
Not Asking for Help
We’ve all known the child who won’t ask for help because he’s sure he’s got it–even if he doesn’t. All students need to learn that asking for help is necessary every day. Try using this list of resources to give your child the help he needs when he needs it.
- State Of Writing: This site contains several helpful writing guides that your child can use.
- Via Writing: This is a grammar blog that provides useful writing tips.
- BoomEssays: A tutor from this service can help with the technicalities of essay writing if your child is struggling to grasp them. This type of service is recommended by The Huffington Post.
- Citation Generator: This tool will give your child the correct citation for any source he uses.
- Academized & UKWritings: These online tools offer expert proofreading, so they can help your child spot the errors he makes.
- Easy Word Counter: Your child can use this tool to check the length of his text and see where he’s made any errors.
- SimpleGrad: This editing blog will show your child just how to polish an essay until it’s perfect.
Not Doing the Work After Writing
Many children feel they’re done once they finish writing. In fact, they need to be re-reading, proofreading, and editing before they turn in their essays. Teach your child how to proofread carefully and remove any mistakes he finds along the way. A well-polished essay will impress much more than an essay that was dashed off quickly.
These mistakes are commonly made by all students. However, now that you know about them you can help your child correct them. Follow this advice and your child can start improving his writing skills almost instantly. Give these tips a try!