On January 27th, the Writing and Literature Club held an Essay Workshop. Targeted towards students who struggle with starting and writing essays. The workshop focused on strategies to help students write essays easier and better.
“Today, English is considered to be one of the more difficult subjects, as most believe it’s a talent, not a skill developed through hard work,” explained Adrian Rozario, the president of the Writing and Literature Club and one of the workshop’s speakers, about the workshop’s purpose. “Our club provides students with a unique opportunity to develop their literacy skills in an inclusive space.”
Breaking the typical essay into its many parts, the presenters discussed specific strategies to help improve and make the writing process easier for each section. Being pragmatic, the presenters acknowledged, and accounted for, the potential for a significant time crunch when essays are involved. Whether it be during an AP exam, an English assignment due tomorrow, or a timed essay in class, students often find themselves in positions where time is a problem. With this in mind, the workshop helped adapt typical writing strategies to be quicker and more efficient.
Although some of the strategies presented were traditional, similar to those taught in most English classes, many others were unconventional in nature, rarely found in the classroom. For example, the presenters stressed the importance of modifying the normal usage of body paragraphs. They suggested the use of body paragraphs as a way to contribute back to an idea. Whether that be introducing a piece of evidence or an analysis of an idea, it was suggested that they should have their own paragraphs. This would be in contrast to the commonly used technique of including all the contributions to a single idea in the same body paragraph. These tips were derived from AP class and Speech & Debate writing tactics, where essay writing and a variety of writing strategies take on more unorthodox forms than those in regular English classes.
As many students struggle with not only essays but writing in general, events like these are extremely important. Despite knowing the typical essay structure that we’ve been told works, it’s always a struggle to write well. This problem only multiplies in severity under a time restriction. No one understands the struggles of writing effectively that students face better than students themselves. That’s why student-led writing events like the Writing and Literature Club’s Essay Workshop are one of the best opportunities students have to improve their writing, as it gives us the ability to find solutions that we won’t normally find in class.