Adding Variety to Students’ Writing

Spice Up Their Writing- Easily!

Believe it or not, there is a simple way to add some spice to your students’ papers.  With a bit of variety and details, even the most basic paper can come to life.  Teach these techniques prior to planning and writing papers or as you proofread a paper together.

Stop the “then, then, then” train:
The first transition word students tend to add to their papers is “then”.  But when each paragraph is so weighted down with “then”, it gets to be a drag.  So, give them some substitutes, such as…

  • After that
  • Next
  • Following that

By simply using these words instead of “then”, the paper will instantly have some variety and interest.

Details:
Have students add words, phrases, or sentences that answer the following questions…

  • Who?
  • What?
  • Where?
  • When?
  • Why?
  • How?  How many?  For how long?

For example, if the student wrote, “We went to New York.”  Have him answer these questions to expand on the first, basic sentence.

  • Who did you go with?  Who did you go see?
  • What did you do there?  What did you see?  What did you eat?
  • Where in New York did you go?  Where did you stay?
  • When did you go?
  • Why did you go there?
  • How did you get there?  How long did you stay?

With so many details, the reader will get a much clearer picture of what the writer is trying to express.  What a difference some details can make!

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