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It's Their Style - Not Yours!
There is quite simply nothing like escaping between the pages of a good book, becoming lost in the poetic verse of Longfellow, Dickinson, or Frost, discovering who done it before Holmes or Poirot, being moved to tears by the words of Dickens or Orwell. What did these masters of verse have that appears to be lost? How were they able to create such works of apparent perfection? They were unique at the art of expression and exceptional at the skill of understanding the written word. How can teens master these two concepts and become effective writers? Often it is a matter of constructive communication.
- Understanding the distinction between writing genre and writing style is an excellent first step toward effective writing. Students who have difficulty grasping the difference between an opinion essay and a term paper will have confusion fulfilling written assignments. By studying a variety of works from a broad range of genres, authors, eras, and cultures, student's will develop a clear grasp of the differences in literary genres and become more adept at knowing when it is appropriate to infuse his or her own wit and wisdom into a particular work.
- Spend time with words! Just as a painter must practice with new oils, a writer must practice with new words. Playing word games, crosswords and searches, as well as studying word origins and derivations are also key to effective writing, as these activities help build vocabulary skills, improve spelling, and enhance awareness with respect to word history.
- Respect the writer, even if you don't agree with opinion of the work. Works of art, like works of literature, are often only recognized for their distinctiveness, originality and poignance of message long after the author created the work. In fact, many of the greatest works of the past were not acknowledged until after the author's passing...a fact of little encouragement for today's teen writer. Remembering to respect the style and opinion of the writer goes a long way toward constructive communication.
Addressing the Unique Needs of Middle/High School Students with Right Writing
Learning how to write can be a daunting task for young writers. Prepositions, conjuctions, subject/verb phrases, infinitives, & tense recognition are just a few concepts to be mastered. Yet, these concepts must be taught alongside creativity & imagination ensuring the joy of writing lasts a lifetime