Technology can definitely provide help when it comes to essay writing. The Internet is an amazing source of information and can be used to gather ideas and information from multiple sources in a relatively short time. The following tools listed below are just a few examples of how this technology can be harnessed to open up doors of easy learning.
Students who are working on persuasive essays will find Diigo a helpful online tool. It is used for social bookmarking and allows a student to organize the items they find online as they are conducting research for their essay. Diigo can be used to bookmark Web pages, make notes or comments on particular items, or highlight specific things found online.
Students can share what they have found with a group or keep them private. The bookmarks, highlights and other notes are saved online and can be accessed from mobile devices, tablets, as well as desktop computers.
MixedInk is an online writing tool for students that helps them turn their ideas into a piece of text. The idea is for a group of students to work on a project together. They can read their classmates’ work and grade it. The software keeps track of which student wrote each piece of writing for the project so each contributor gets credit for his or her work.
Students can join the class by clicking a link on an on-screen icon. The teacher can also send out a link for his or her class, and students can write persuasive essays. Once each person has completed an individual essay, students are prompted by on-screen instructions to collaborate with other members of their group. The project is completed by the group weaving a single essay out of the work prepared by individual group members.
Facebook is a way for students to connect with other Internet users, and it can be used to help them gather information for essay assignments. Joining a Facebook group dedicated to the topic the student is researching is a good way to find out what kinds of issues people are discussing right now. It can also be a starting point to further research, since group members may share links to other sites or videos that can provide more information.
This exercise will also help students learn who to evaluate information gleaned from personal opinions and experiences posted online. They may be accurate to the person who is relating them, but may not reflect the experience of everyone in the group. The student will need to read through several posts to get a good handle on current issues relating to his or her topic.
Essay Writing Prompts
There are a number of essay writing prompts available online, and these can give students who are stuck on how to get started a push with their essay writing. A good site will include a situation and some directions for the writer to explore in the essay. The paper can be structured from different points of view, and the prompt should include these angles when appropriate to the subject matter.
Persuasive Essay Webquest
A webquest is a specific type of lesson plan where students use resources provided by the teacher as a learning tool. A webquest can be used to help students learn the skills necessary to write persuasive essays by breaking down the project into bite-sized pieces. They review sections of several websites to help craft their own persuasive essay as part of the assignment.
In many classrooms, the news that an essay assignment needs to be completed will be met with a collective groan. All students need to be able to communicate clearly when writing, and completing essay assignments will help them develop this skill. Using the 5 technology tools listed here will help students feel more comfortable when given a writing assignment, and they will be able to focus on getting their words down on paper or in their word processing program. They may even find that writing essays is not so difficult, once they get on the right track.