6 Simple “Old” and “New” Tricks to Teach Complex Writing Skills

In the world of writing, there are many ways to hone one’s skills and approach the seemingly massive task of mastering complex writing techniques. By breaking down this process into old and new tricks, we can make this journey feel more manageable and enjoyable. Here, we present six simple yet effective strategies that will help you teach complex writing skills.

1. The old-fashioned outline

The outline has been a staple of pre-writing for ages, and it remains popular today as a trusted method for organizing thoughts and ideas before diving into the task of writing. By creating an outline, you’re able to break down a complex subject into manageable chunks, making the writing process less overwhelming. Experiment with different outline formats such as bullet points or a mind map to find what works best for you.

2. The power of analogies

Analogies have long been used as a teaching tool in various disciplines, including language arts. They can help make complex concepts more accessible by drawing comparisons to familiar or simpler ideas. When explaining or describing intricate subjects, use analogies as a way to create vivid images that are more relatable to your audience.

3. Active reading for active learning

A tried and true method for improving your writing skills is to become an active reader. Rather than passively consuming text, engage with the material – underline key points, write margin notes, summarize paragraphs, and analyze specific sentences or phrases that capture your attention. This will allow you to dissect the writing techniques employed by successful authors and apply them to your own work.

4. The digital world’s gamification

Harness the power of modern technology by incorporating gamification into the learning process. Game-based learning apps such as Grammarly’s Wordle and Playbuzz’s quiz format can be fun ways for students to practice their writing skills in a highly engaging environment. Challenges, rewards, and immediate feedback make for a motivational and effective learning experience.

5. Make use of writing prompts

Writing prompts can be an excellent tool to help introduce novel ideas and get past the intimidating blank page. Online resources such as Reddit’s Writing Prompts subreddit or Writing.com’s Prompt Generator provide an endless supply of ideas to spark creativity and build complex writing skills. Regularly practice with new prompts to stretch your creative muscles and explore writing from different perspectives.

6. Peer review and collaboration

Another modern approach to teaching complex writing skills is using peer review and collaboration platforms. Websites like Scribophile, ProWritingAid, or Google Docs make it easy for writers to share their work, receive constructive criticism from fellow writers, and collaborate on revisions. This process helps learners identify strengths and weaknesses in their writing and grow through direct feedback.

In conclusion, combining old-school approaches such as outlining and analogies with new-age techniques like gamification and digital collaboration creates a robust strategy for teaching complex writing skills. Experiment with these six tricks to enrich your understanding of language while consistently improving your writing abilities.

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