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Tips/Ideas for helping dd with an essay


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#1 Kfamily

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Posted 22 November 2010 - 04:13 PM

Dd is writing an essay (5 paragraph) for her piano class. She is required to do this as it counts as part of her theory homework. She really doesn't like to do this, but I tell her it is good practice in writing about topics we don't like. :D The topic is very broad. She has a theis and we have an introduction, three support paragraphs and plans to write a conclusion in place, but overall it doesn't seem to flow well. What are your best tips for dealing with having to write on broad topics? She generally writes with a good "voice", but since she despises this assignment (:001_smile:), I'm having trouble helping her get this going. Even I don't like this type of writing, but it is required. We went over a general outline again today, and she understands what to write, but it sounds unconnected and forced. I may be describing this more harshly than I mean. We're still working on it. She is new to writing a 5 paragraph essay so I'm trying to keep this in mind while teaching her. The essay must be 500 words or less. It doesn't specify that it must be 5-paragraph so I might consider taking a paragraph out (the one we are struggling with), but I wanted this essay to have some structure. This is why we are trying it this way. I hope this makes sense.

Thanks!

How do you teach your dc to move through essays that are not ideal, but are required?

Edited by Kfamily, 22 November 2010 - 04:22 PM.


#2 Cadam

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Posted 23 November 2010 - 07:13 AM

Could you narrow the thesis?

Just because you can write on a broad topic doesn't mean that you have to, right? Would it be easier if you narrowed it down a bit? If this is her first essay like this I would very much be prompting and walking her through it. Really, just sit with her and help her write the thing.

#3 Kfamily

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Posted 23 November 2010 - 09:07 AM

Thank you Christina! It is amazing how just a comment or two is all it takes. As soon as I read what you said, I realized that narrowing down the broad topic is exactly what we have needed to do. I knew this, but for some reason I get trapped in the moment and keep trying to make it work the same way.:lol::lol: Yes, we will drop the paragraph that has been causing us so much trouble. This is exactly the one that had her covering way too much in one paragraph. We'll narrow this paper down to the main supports she has in her thesis rather than dealing with the topic and her thesis. The topic has to be "Music.... an instrument of universal expression." :tongue_smilie:

Thank you! This was helpful!

Sorry, we have a lot going on in our family right now (not bad, just hard). I think my mind is on too many things at once!:D

#4 Cadam

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Posted 23 November 2010 - 10:33 PM

The topic has to be "Music.... an instrument of universal expression." :tongue_smilie:


Ug, what a terrible report topic. It sounds like the title of a tribute concert!

Glad I could help.