The Importance of School Essays

Mar 28, 2019 by

“When am I ever going to use this in real life?” It’s a question most students pose at least once in their educational careers (especially when learning geometry). The education system is designed to teach students basic skills and the foundation of all subjects from science and history to math and English. One thing that many students struggle with is the writing process. Whether it’s a book report, narrative story, or research paper, crafting engaging and accurate content can be difficult for students of all ages. Introduce the essay. It’s the most basic form of writing and one that students must master at some point. But why? I thought you’d never ask. Keep reading to discover a few reasons school essays really are important for student development.

Information Gathering

Before a student can write about a subject, they must perform some type of information gathering. This could be researching a topic, taking notes in the classroom, reading books, or even conducting interviews. Students learn how to gather information and separate what’s important from what’s trivial. This is an important life skill. All too often students get bogged down by irrelevant information while reading, researching, and test taking. Word problems are specifically designed with unnecessary information to challenge a student’s ability to discern what’s needed and what’s not. Gathering information for a student essay is the perfect place to start when it comes to figuring out what’s important to include and what can be omitted.

Critical Thinking

Once all the information is gathered, students must perform critical thinking before putting pencil to paper. What do they want their essay to say? What message are they trying to convey? And what information supports their argument? This is where critical thinking comes into play. Students learn to look passed the obvious, surface facts and dig deeper into the topic at hand. They can also make observations and discoveries about the information they’ve gathered. This is all part of the learning process and teaches students to look at one subject from many different angles. Critical thinking is an essential life skill that is reinforced through essay writing in its most basic form.

Organizational Skills

Simply having great ideas isn’t enough. Without organizational skills, the message will be lost. Writing essays helps students practice these skills. They need to put relevant information together and create a flow that makes the most sense for the reader. Of course, every essay needs a compelling introduction and a thought-invoking conclusion, but the information in between needs to be organized as well. Students learn to pull information from several different resources to create each section of their essay. They must determine what facts should come first and which others best support their claims. Organizing your thoughts in a specific manner can actually help readers see your point of view more easily. Students are already learning to be persuasive without even realizing it.

Comprehension and Delivery

If the student doesn’t understand the topic, how can they effectively deliver the message? They can’t. Short of hiring a paper writing service for the really technical topics, students need to go the extra mile to really comprehend the subject at hand. After all, if they don’t understand it, how can they possibly explain it to someone else in a convincing manner? Students practice gathering information from several different resources. If one doesn’t make sense or isn’t “clicking” with the student, they should move onto the next. Sometimes, a video clip or tutorial might support student comprehension more than a medical journal or scholarly article. Have students perform their research and then verbally explain to you what they’ve learned. Then, help them to put those ideas into words. This is where their writing skills come into play. What words helped them best understand the topic? Help them incorporate these same phrases and explanations into their work without plagiarizing. Sometimes, simplicity is key. Students tend to use big words and complicate vocabulary to make their essay sound more scholarly. Put it to them this way: if you wouldn’t understand it, no one else will either.

Communication Skills

One of the most important lessons students learn from essay writing is how to effectively communicate using the written word. Sadly, the rise of social media and technology in general has somewhat killed personal interaction and conversation. But on the flip-side, it’s made written communication all the more important. Whether it’s an email or a text message, students need to know how to effectively communicate an idea using text. There’s no denying that sometimes, a message can be lost in translation via text. One party doesn’t always know what the other means. Was your friend being sarcastic or serious? Are they mad or just busy? Miscommunication via text has lead to countless break-ups and unnecessary arguments. But what’s more important is that a student doesn’t send the wrong message via email or cover letter when applying for college, a job, or communicating with an authority figure. Essay writing teaches students how to choose appropriate vocabulary and write clear, meaningful sentences that get their message across.

Defending an Argument

Every teacher wants their students to believe in something and to stand behind that belief. Essay writing helps students to adopt an argument or standpoint and support that claim through research and facts. Introduce a specific topic or controversial issue to your class. Have them take a stance and then support their view point. This is a great way to teach healthy debate skills. It also helps students understand that they can’t simply spout their opinion or make sweeping claims without evidence to back it up. This concept can even be taught at the elementary level using opinion pieces. Students can choose their favorite flavor of ice cream or pizza topic and then support that opinion using facts. While this seems like a simple concept, it puts them on the right path toward learning how to adopt a belief or argument and then defend it in a compelling, persuasive essay.

While some students might find essay writing trivial, there really are many benefits to it. Not only do students need basic writing skills throughout their educational and professional careers, but they’re also learning life skills along the way. Defending an argument, crafting professional and persuasive text, and practicing critical thinking are just some of the many benefits essay writing offers students.

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