“I’m just not a good writer…” If you’ve ever wondered if you student’s self-belief is part of the problem, you may be on to something.

But it’s not as simple as students being good or bad writers but rather a case of producing good or bad writing.

The truth is that most students don’t have the habits or strategies that lead to good writing. Additionally, school itself can cultivate an ‘assignment’ mentality that compounds this problem, as students shift their effort toward pleasing their teachers. The notion that writing’s utmost purpose–to communicate a thoughtful idea in a clear and interesting way–becomes lost.

If your student is struggling with writing, you can help them by listening as they talk through their ideas. Foster a love of reading and writing by reading or listening to books together and discussing these stories. Don’t give in to the pressure of labeling your student as good or bad writer, but instead identify realistic goals that support your student’s learning. Finally, focus on the learning. If your student is assigned a research paper on World War II, ask her what she’s learned so far and how this historical event speaks to life today. Good writing begins with the capacity to translate existing information into clear and engaging language.

Contact Victoria to learn more about writing coaching for students.

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