Writing is a skill that is necessary throughout life, as we all write emails, papers, and other important documents. Writing skills become increasingly important as we graduate from school and move into the workforce. Students must learn early in life how to spell, use correct grammar and punctuation, and express their thoughts and ideas through writing. Quoting or paraphrasing from a published text will help students express their personal views through critical thinking.
Students will most likely be working with a word processing program as they progress with their writing skills. It is easy to teach them to italicize their quotes along with quotation marks.
Start by asking students to find a suitable quote from interesting texts. Then assist them with brainstorming ideas based on the information they are provided with in the quote.
The next step is for the students to outline their ideas and write an introductory paragraph that may include the quote. Students need to organize their own thoughts around the subject of the quote as part of critical thinking.
Another way that students can enhance their writing is through the use of paraphrasing. Experienced writers are able to effectively paraphrase another person’s words, but young students often need help in understanding this concept. It is very important that students understand that they are taking the work of another writer and putting it into their own words.
This process is initiated by presenting students with interesting written statements or paragraphs. Ask students to rewrite the text material from their own perspective. Paraphrasing allows them to change the words while keeping the same theme. Have students expand on the original work using their own ideas and explore with them the concept of referring to the original statements without quotes.
We have several curriculum programs available at Top Score Writing that can effectively assist teachers improve the text-based writing skills of their students on all grade levels. The programs include planning for expository prompts in the sections they read. See our sample lessons for more ideas to improve your students’ text-based writing skills.