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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.

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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