How to Help Students Become Better Writers

Joining a Writing Community Can Motivate Students to Improve their Writing

Helping students become better writers and thinkers is an important goal of every ELA teacher.

We all know that many of our students struggle with writing. In fact, many students groan at the mere mention of having to put thoughts to paper. The more we can provide relevance and authentic purpose for writing in our classrooms, the more interest our students will have in becoming better writers.

I recently learned about an interesting website called

The resources found at this site would definitely help students between the ages of 13-18 become better writers. The site is a community of writers for students from all over the world.It encourages students to write more, write well, and write collaboratively with other students. Students can earn special badges along the way as they build their writing portfolios.

In addition to the student community, teachers will find writing prompt ideas, writing guidelines and competitions to spark student interest in writing.

Students can join writing groups and participate in other great activities where students can improve their writing thorough feedback and support from their peers and writing guidelines available to them on this site. You can find a range of tools and resources to create a lively writing community in your classroom. 

You can even create a writing group for your students at this site.

There are special writing prompts that you can provide to your students to improve their writing and thinking skills. You can integrate the global platform into your regular curriculum.  Your students can qualify for prizes, and special awards. In addition, you will also find lesson plans and ways to connect your students to peer or expert reviewers for feedback.

As an author, I love this site! 

I would have loved sharing my writing with a great community like this when I was a student. I am sure your students would be interested in having others read their work as well. How many budding authors might you have in your classroom?

Be sure to check it out and see if it might benefit your students and enhance their writing skills!

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How to Teach Argumentation

One of the requirements of the new Common Core standards for secondary grades is teaching students how to write an argument paper. Many teachers think that persuasive writing is the same as argumentative writing however, there are differences – albeit subtle ones. In persuasive writing, the writer’s goal is to persuade the reader to agree with him and his point of view on the topic. In argumentative writing, the author acknowledges that the “other” side of the argument has some merit and objectively presents the other point of view. In persuasive writing, the author attempts to convince the reader that his viewpoint is the “right” one and may include a heavy reliance on the author’s own opinions.  In argumentative writing, the writer offers credible facts and perspectives to show that there is “sufficient evidence” for his perspective. In persuasive writing, the author identifies a topic and the point of view from which he will argue.  In argumentative writing, the author researches the topic and then aligns with one side while still honoring the valid claims of the opposing viewpoint. Persuasive writing is more personal, passionate and often more emotionally laden. Argumentation presents an idea and a sound rationale for conclusions regardless of whether or not the reader ends up agreeing at the end. The writer is merely stating his position and logic behind his conclusions and perspective.

Publishing Student Writing and Generating Reading Excitement

Research shows that writing reinforces and builds reading skills so the more we get students writing, the more improvements they make in their reading. A great way to get students excited about writing is to get their works published on the internet. Reading Rockets and has recently established a monthly challenge that gives students writing prompts that they can address. The prompts are inspired by the Exquisite Corpse Adventure serial saga being presented on the Library of Congress website. Each month, there is a new prompt for students in grades K-12 that correlates with the ongoing Adventure saga. Be sure to check out the prompts and the Adventure. The ongoing adventure is fun and will get students excited and thinking! Your kids will love the writing challenge and may just get their best writing published! There is also a great literacy resource “treasure chest” at the Library of Congress site for both parents and teachers. Be sure to check both of these great resources out!