Students with attention challenges struggle to complete the multiple step multifaceted task of report writing. They often say they don’t know where to start and then they can’t remember what to do next. Teaching the following five steps helps your student develop her own internal structure for written expression.
Step 1: Before Writing the Report or Essay
- First, determine what you want to write about.
- Use imagination and mental images to brainstorm ideas.
- Make a list of ideas you think about while you are brainstorming.
- Choose the idea you like best.
- From the ideas, narrow the topic to write about.
- Consider the purpose for writing and determine the audience.
- Determine the type of paragraph/theme you need to write.
- Organize thoughts and supporting details.
- Consider using graphic organizer software to organize ideas (www.inspiration.com.)
Step 2: Writing the First Draft
- Use a word processor.
- Focus on organizing your thoughts and ideas into an appropriate sequence.
- Supporting details
- Use a word bank of modifiers and action words to make the written product more interesting and descriptive.
- Focus on getting your ideas on paper without being overly concerned with spelling, grammar, and punctuation at this stage to encourage writing fluency.
Step 3: Revising the Draft
- Read your written product aloud at least one time to help clarify your ideas.
- Read and listen to ensure that the sequence is logical and that it says what you really want it to say.
- Rearrange, reword, and modify as needed.
- Add, cut, reorder, and replace using a word processor.
Step 4: Proofreading and Editing
- Carefully proofread your revised draft, rereading for errors in grammar, sentence structure, and sentence meaning.
- Examine your revised draft for errors in spelling and correct errors.
- Check punctuation and capitalization.
Step 5: Finalizing the Report or Essay
- Complete the final draft of your written product using legible, neat handwriting or a word processor.
- Emphasize the appearance of the written product.
- Check margins.
- Review the title, title page, and bibliography for accuracy.
- Plan for several drafts.
- Attend to grammar, semantics, syntax, and style.
- Go for it!! Turn it in to the teacher on time.
Even though the report topic changes, these five steps remain the same. Learning and applying these steps can help your student become more successful at preparing written essays and reports.
(c) 2009- 2012, Monte W. Davenport, Ph.D.