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How to help students draft an essay

How to help students draft an essay

Your first draft will help you work out:

  • the structure and framework of your essay
  • how you will answer the question
  • which evidence and examples you will use
  • how your argument will be logically structured.

Your first draft will not be your final essay; think of it as raw material you will refine through editing and redrafting. Once you have a draft, you can work on writing well.


Structure your essay in the most effective way to communicate your ideas and answer the question.

All essays should include the following structure.

Essay paragraphs

A paragraph is a related group of sentences that develops one main idea. Each paragraph in the body of the essay should contain:

  • a topic sentence that states the main or controlling idea
  • supporting sentences to explain and develop the point you’re making
  • evidence from your reading or an example from the subject area that supports your point
  • analysis of the implication/significance/impact of the evidence finished off with a critical conclusion you have drawn from the evidence
  • a concluding sentence that restates your point, analyses the evidence, or acts as a transition to the next paragraph.

See The Learning Centre guide Paraphrasing, summarising and quoting

Tips for effective writing

  • Start writing early —the earlier the better. Starting cuts down on anxiety, beats procrastination, and gives you time to develop your ideas.
  • Keep the essay question in mind. Don’t lose track of the question or task. Keep a copy in front of you as you draft, edit and work out your argument.
  • Don’t try to write an essay from beginning to end, especially not in a single sitting. Begin with what you are ready to write—a plan, a few sentences or bullet points. Start with the body and work paragraph by paragraph.
  • Write the introduction and conclusion after the body. Once you know what your essay is about, then write the introduction and conclusion.
  • Use ‘signpost’ words in your writing. Transition signals can help the reader follow the order and flow of your ideas.
  • Integrate your evidence carefully. Introduce quotations and paraphrases with introductory phrases.
  • Revise your first draft extensively. Make sure the entire essay flows and that the paragraphs are in a logical order.
  • Put the essay aside for a few days. This allows you to consider your essay and edit it with a fresh eye.

See The Learning Centre guides to Introducing quotations and paraphrases and Transition signals

Essay Writing Unit: Teach Your Students to Write an Essay (Bundle – Digital)

Some resources in this bundle include ready-to-use interactive activities that students can complete on any device. Easel by TpT is free to use! Learn more.


Teach your students how to write an essay! This comprehensive essay writing bundle includes teaching resources and lessons for every part of an essay.

First, focus on teaching the thesis statement and introductory paragraph.

The first writing unit includes targeted teaching strategies to teach students how to write a thesis statement and an introduction to an essay. This thesis writing teaching unit includes a teaching presentation (PowerPoint and Google Slide) for direct instruction. This teaching presentation includes differentiation and examples to help students become stronger writers. There is also a PDF and a Google Doc for students to practice their work.

Then, teach students about topic sentences and body paragraphs.

The second writing unit helps students learn how to write specific and focused topic sentences and body paragraphs. For the body paragraphs, students will learn how to include and explain examples. This body paragraph and topic sentence teaching unit includes a teaching presentation (PowerPoint and Google Slide) for direct instruction. This teaching presentation includes differentiation and examples to help students become stronger writers. Plus, the examples are color-coded to help students see the various elements of a body paragraph. There is also a PDF and a Google Doc for students to practice their work.

Finally, teach the conclusion.

Teach students how to write a concluding paragraph to their essay. This part of the writing unit also includes direct instruction materials and student practice.

PowerPoint presentations included in this unit are color-coded, engaging, and filled good and bad examples to help your students improve their writing today. The teaching resources and supplementary materials are differentiated and scaffolded to help student writers of all abilities.

Digital version included – Now optimized for distance learning and Google Classroom!

7 Tips to Teach Essay Writing to Your Children

Writing is one of the most important skills for your child’s education. The unfortunate thing is that classroom settings often don’t provide enough practice time to really hone those writing skills. Experts from Ace Papers can provide good lessons and instruction, but there’s still a lot of slack for parents to pick up. Follow these seven tips to teach essay writing to your children.

Refresh on basic writing skills

Before you dive into essay writing, make sure your child has a good grasp on the basic elements of writing. Make sure they know the importance of things such as proper spelling and the rules of grammar. Remember to teach them these concepts at an age appropriate level, you don’t need to deliver a huge lecture. Be patient and correct them when they make a mistake and explain what the proper way to do things is. These fundamentals are the basic building blocks that you’ll be building their essay skills on. Here is an assortment of ideas to choose research paper help, combine or alter in order to come up with the answer that works best for your kid.

Start with a thesis

“Explaining an abstract concept such as a thesis to child can be challenging, but it’s a necessary understanding if they are to write an essay. Give them clear direction and simple examples to help explain what a thesis is and why it’s so important to an essay. Provide some prompts to get them started or give them some examples of what a good thesis statement is,” writes Carolyn Kirsch, educator at Academized. Try and emphasize that the thesis is the core of an essay, everything else is built out from it.

Show them how to write an outline

Your outline is a master plan for your essay and will include all the important elements. A lot of children aren’t comfortable expressing their thoughts in writing, and an outline is a great way to encourage them and show them the logical context of their essay. Show them the basic structure, including the introduction, main body, and conclusion. Explain to them that the main body is where they will make their arguments and the conclusion should be a thoughtful summary of their main points.

Encourage them to read

One of the best ways for your child to improve their writing is simply by teaching them to love reading. Reading is great because it gives them plenty of good writing examples to soak up and learn from. Reading is also a good way to increase their vocabulary and that is key for improving writing skills. The more your child reads the more they will learn about how sentences work together and the stronger their essay writing skills will be.

Practice lots

Writing practice is very important to building essay writing skills. A lot of kids don’t get very much writing practice in the classroom. Teachers will explain the basics and give them some exercises, but the time spent writing in the classroom is very limited. Encourage your child to write at home. Help them by giving them a theme to write about for the day. The next day, you can build off that theme by having them write an essay about it.

Use technology to help your child

Chances are you associate technology with distracting your child from reading and writing. But used properly, certain technologies can be very helpful to improving your child’s essay writing skills. Don’t be afraid to let them use the tablet if they prefer to read and write using that device. Just remember though to ensure your child doesn’t copy information from other resources online. We asked online expert Adam Collins regarding how lenient colleges & schools are when it comes to plagiarism in essays, he said “Most establishments now have comprehensive plagiarism checkers when marking essays, its important children steer clear of the temptation on copy a sentence of two from different resources, as this will now be flagged easily by the tools. Pinterest can also be a great tool because it is very useful for organizing materials, and since essay writing involves research, Pinterest can be very helpful.

Online tools can help teach your kid essay writing

There are a lot of resources on the web that can help you teach essay writing to your child. Here are a few to get started with:

    and WritingPopulist – These grammar resources are great for simplifying the writing process and making grammar a bit more approachable. and EssayRoo – Proofreading is something a lot of children struggle with, and it requires a lot of attention to detail. These proofreading tools, suggested by Revieweal, can help. and StateofWriting – Read through these blogs with your child and you’ll get access to lots of helpful suggestions on essay writing. and UKWritings – These are editing tools that have been reviewed in Boomessays review and are very helpful at catching the mistakes you are likely to miss on your own. and LetsGoandLearn – Check out these academic writing guides for help teaching your child to write an essay. They are simple and will walk your kid through the writing process step by step.

Conclusion The writing skills you teach your kid now will serve them for the rest of their life. Writing is a huge part of success not just in high school, but especially in college and the working world. Use these seven tips to teach essay writing to your children.