Essay assignments to engage High School Writers

Many kids in the high school class are likely to despise writing. After all, they are frequently required to write lengthy articles that take a great deal of thinking, researching, planning, outlining, drafting, revising, and editing—all of which may be taxing. high school lads had the same mindset, and their brief, undeveloped, and passionless poems were particularly revealing.

But, it is possible to successfully motivate students to write longer, richer, and more compelling multi-paragraph pieces by first building their knowledge of the topic on which they are expected to compose and initially assigning them shorter and more authentic writing tasks. 

Take a slow-motion but staying consistent with the strategies that we will be revealing now is important.

Why involve writing assignments?

  • Writing expands students’ thinking and boosts their engagement with course material. Writing projects that are well-designed encourage students to think more deeply about what they are learning. For example, writing a book review pushes students to read more completely and critically inculcating moral responsibility and power.
  •  Writing allows us to see what our pupils are thinking and learning. We might take delight in learning, through our students’ writing, that students perceive things in course readings or discussions that we did not see; students create connections that we had not realized. And it is via our pupils’ writing that we learn what puzzles them. We may not always be glad to identify gaps in our students’ knowledge or understanding, but it is our responsibility to expand that knowledge and enhance students’ thinking. 
  • Writing assignments allow us to teach students how to arrange ideas, develop arguments logically, establish explicit connections, elaborate ideas, debate points, and locate an argument in the context of past research—all of which are appreciated in higher education. Students recall what they write about because writing slows down thought and necessitates deep, continuous examination of a subject. No matter how many years have passed, most of us can recall a paper we wrote as students that increased our understanding of a certain subject.
  • Writing individualized learning, so students and lecturers remember what they’ve written. When a student is truly engaged with a writing assignment, she must make numerous choices specific to her paper: how to focus on the topic, what to read, what to make the central argument, how to organize ideas, how to marshal evidence, which generally points to make, how to develop and support general ideas with particulars, how to introduce the topic, what to include and what to omit, which style and tone to adopt.

What is a good writing assignment?

A writing assignment can be made worth it when you follow these steps:

  • Writing should contribute to the achievement of the instructional objectives.
  • Divide an activity into achievable steps
  • Make the assignment extremely apparent to the students. Connect the writing job to specific pedagogical goals, especially those specified in the overall course goals.
  • Take note of the task’s rhetorical components, such as the audience, purpose, and writing set.
  • Divide the work into doable steps.
  • Make certain that all aspects of the assignment are understood.
  • Make your writing more interesting by relating it to the actual world.
  • Encourage kids to use all of the descriptive vocabulary terms they’ve acquired throughout the years to create compelling prose full of vivid details.
  • Providing kids with topics to write about that are related to real-life challenges that teenagers encounter might be an excellent approach to get them started.
  • Giving kids topics to write about that are related to real-life difficulties that they encounter can be a smart method to assist in minimizing the fear factor connected with writing assignments.

Engaging in writing assignments for students 

The essay topics that you can try on the students 

  •  Have students write a blog post about where they went. If your students have visited local resorts or tourist attractions, they could write about their experiences, recommend activities for prospective visitors, and persuade them to visit when it is safe to do so.
  • Their insights may even persuade others to visit this location. Students could supplement their writing with images. They could also turn their written piece into a mini-video production for a real or fictitious YouTube channel promoting exotic vacations. Their composition would serve as the audio narration, with some background reggae, R&B, or any other culturally relevant music.
  • Movie reviews: Because of the pandemic, we know that many of our students are watching far more movies than they have in the past. As a result, let us repurpose this social activity and use what they enjoy doing for fun to help them improve a key academic skill. Instruct students to write a review of their most recent or favorite film.
  • Instruct them to provide a synopsis of the film, share their impressions of the main characters and the plot’s development, and investigate the techniques used to create suspense and mounting tension. Later, when they’re writing their own, they’ll be able to apply what they’ve learned.
  • Review of a song or music video: Some students enjoy listening to music, so a review of a song or music video could motivate them and facilitate interest-based differentiation. Indicate where the review could appear—a local tabloid, a social media page, etc.
  • Encourage students to keep this in mind as they write for their finished pieces to be authentic and appropriate for the context and audience intended.
  • Depending on your content area, you could have students create discipline-specific posts with captions. For example, if you are studying rocks in geography or soil types in science, have students photograph various types and post them online.
  • Have students take photos of various types in a particular field can be science, geography, etc., and ask them to post descriptive or explanatory captions. They’ll be learning and teaching at the same time.

Effective tips to engage the high school students in writing 

  • Consider it your responsibility to improve your students’ writing.
  • Teaching writing is not solely the responsibility of the English department. Writing is an essential tool for learning a discipline, and all faculty members are responsible for helping students improve their writing skills.
  • Make it clear to students that you value good writing.
  • Emphasize the significance of clear, thoughtful writing. Faculty who tell students that good writing will be rewarded and bad writing will be punished receive better essays than instructors who do not make such demands. Remind students in the syllabus, on the first day, and throughout the term, that they must make their best effort to express themselves on paper. 
  • Your students will respond if you back up your statements with comments on early assignments that show you mean it. In your classes, assign brief writing exercises regularly.
  • Ask students to write for a few minutes during class to vary the pace of a lecture course. Students will gain the practice they need to improve their skills through a combination of in-class writing, outside writing assignments, and exams with open-ended questions.
  • Assist the writer throughout the writing process. After you’ve completed the assignment, talk about the importance of outlines and notes, how to choose and narrow a topic, and how to critique the first draft. Also, define plagiarism.
  • Don’t feel obligated to read and grade every piece of writing submitted by your students. During class, have students analyze each other’s work or critique their work in small groups. Students will realize that they are writing to improve their ability to think clearly, not to obtain a grade. Remember that you can collect papers from students and skim their work.’
  • Find other faculty members who are attempting to improve the use of writing in their courses. Collect ideas for how writing can help students learn more about the subject. Check to see if there is enough interest in your discipline to warrant developing guidelines. Students appreciate handouts that provide specific instructions on how to write papers for a specific course or subject area.
Carter Martin

Leave a Comment