How to write an example paper: 5 rules to follow
When teaching English, it is inevitable that papers will be assigned to students. This is part of life. When it comes to teaching the next generation how to write an essay, part of this is teaching, and leading, by example. To do this, teachers have to present examples of good writing to students. This can be more difficult than it would first appear. However, consider the following five rules.
- Make sure your example paper, in topic, tone, and style, is geared towards the writing, not the ideas themselves presented within. This may seem somewhat strange. After all, are not all great essays modeled after great ideas? This is true, but you are not writing a great essay, you are writing an example essay. Therefore, having complex ideas take up space will make the students want to discuss those ides, taking up the point.
- Make sure that the essay is grammatically sound. As you are using this as a vehicle for education, it would be quite silly to have many grammatical errors. It would not look good for writing examples to have any errors. This is true even if you plan on making an essay with grammatical errors with the intention that students correct them. It is always more professional to have only the errors that you yourself put it- this will make grading easier and give your lessons more weight.
- Make sure that the sentences are not overly experimental or complex. Flowery language that is really needed in most essays, and when it helps it is difficult to do well. This is only a useful skill for writers that put a lot of time outside the class into the craft, so for the average student this will be missing the point. Instead, try to keep your sentences simple and to the point as often as possible. Realize that this also means that you should avoid passive voice, as this is generally not the best.
- While the ideas cannot be too complex, and the ideas are not the focus of the essay per se, it is best to make the essay interesting. This allows students to connect with the narrative, or whichever form of essay you are demonstrating. Students like interesting essays.
- Be sure to write the essay to the standards that the students will be graded by. This goes both ways. Clearly, it would be silly to have an essay not as good as students need to get an A, because then they do not know the expectation. However, if the essay is too complexly written, or of much higher quality than what you ask of students, they will find themselves unable to reach that standard without the whole picture as to why.