Its the moment every parent dreads: when your child sits there glum-faced looking at a blank piece of paper in front of them. They have a rapidly-approaching deadline for their essay and nothing but nothing you do as a parent seems to help them get any closer to completion. What can you do to help? The answer is: quite a lot.
Getting students over this barrier was one of the reasons I put pen to paper four years ago and produced a book called Write That Essay! At that stage I was a senior academic at Auckland University and a university examiner. For nearly 20 years in both course work and examinations I had counselled everyone from 17-year-old newbies to 40-year-old career changers with their essay writing. Often the difference between a student who might achieve a B-Grade and the A-Grade student was just some well-placed advice and direction.
Getting Started A challenge many kids (and adults) face writing essays is getting started. The person sits there waiting for inspiration to hit them like a lightening bolt and it never happens. What can you as a parent do to help? Encourage them with the thought that great essays are never written the first time over. Get them to view essay writing as a three-part process. The first draft is only to get out the ideas and words in rough form. In the second and third effort they will add to their essay where there are blanks clarify ideas and give it a final polish. Realising that an essay isnt supposed to be perfect the first time you write it really helps some people.