Academic writing is a necessary part of any educational process. It doesn’t matter which school we are talking about: public, private or homeschool. However, it may be more challenging for homeschool teachers to teach academic writing, as it is a rather formal aspect of education. We gathered several tips borrowed from professional academic writing service which can help you to get started.
To avoid initial resistance from your class or your pupil start with making it clear why different types of styles of writing are so important.
You can give examples of the variety of writing styles, starting from brief advertisements, to more formal letters, to bills, to books, to blogs, etc. You should emphasize that the most important thing about writing as it should be well-applied to the particular situation. Explain that writing has goals and the writing style should work for that goal not against you. You can make an experiment and offer students to write advertisement using language for contracts and a small simple contract using language for fairy tales. This should show your listeners that academic writing is not some scary unnecessary boring concept, but just another type of writing style which is used for some specific goals.
Give the list of the most crucial characteristics describing academic writing and explain their meaning using simple and practical examples.
When you start teaching your students another subject that can be not very interesting for them from the very beginning you should restrain from being authoritarian. For example, you should not say something like “you should write this way just because it is always done this way” or “because it is right.” No, academic writing is not right or wrong it is just there and we have to learn it because otherwise we can’t graduate from college or enter university. Norms of academic writing are not stable as well. What we call academic writing now would horrify professors 100 years ago.
Cheer them up telling about innovative digital means they can use to make their academic writing faster, easier and more efficient.
You know they will google all those methods anyway, so it will do no harm if you show them how to use those means properly. Of course, we don’t mean some cheating options, just technical helpers. For example, there are myriads of grammar and spelling checkers and it is not against the rules to use them. Make a test run first and later recommend some of them to your students. You can turn it into a game that will make your students more engaged. For example, give them texts with mistakes and a list of online grammar checkers they can use in order to find those mistakes. Let them see on their own which checkers are better and how different algorithms work. When talking about formatting, which is a huge part of academic writing, show them citation generators using which will save students time greatly. Many professors are against such means, but let’s face it, we don’t need this marvelous elaborate skill of crafting in-text and bibliography citations in MLA or APA style in our real life. Once we graduate we will forget all the rules, so it is better to make the process much more efficient.
Teaching academic writing in homeschool is rather challenging but at the same time you should look at a bright side — you have more means to do it than an average teacher in a standard class. Use this opportunity for good and present academic writing as something worth learning and not that boring as it seems from the very beginning.