Utilizing creative writing exercises for your students with a focus on the writing process will greatly enhance their analytical and creative writing abilities immensely over time. The secret to enhancing the craft of writing, after all, is by no means with just daily practice. Of course, the more you can do, the better off you’ll be.
Among the most popular writing exercises, or rather, writing prompts, are those which ask questions about specific aspects of the writing process. It doesn’t have to be anything complicated. A simple question like “What does the process of writing feel like?” Can be incredibly powerful, as well as being very easy for your students to answer. Of course, you have to tailor the writing prompts to the particular needs of your individual students, but that’s nothing that can’t be done.
If you choose to go this route, you’ll undoubtedly find many creative writing exercises that can be used in your classes. You may even choose to take the exercise outside of the classroom in the form of group writing exercises. These are typically easier for students to do than individual ones, because they’re already familiar with a range of written work. As a result, they’re already comfortable answering questions about that writing. Thus, they’ll be much more open to the subject matter you have to bring up in your teaching sessions.
When you look at writing exercises that ask students to imagine what’s happening in another person’s mind while making up an answer, you’re encouraging them to use figurative language when they communicate their thoughts. This is an especially important principle to apply to new ideas. If you take an idea and ask students to imagine how it fits into the world of business for them, you’ll be giving them a way to imagine being able to talk to other people. This gives them a starting point for developing new ideas.
Another benefit of rewrite writing exercises is that they’re extremely useful for clarifying your own thoughts. Many of the same reasons that group writing exercises are helpful for helping students develop new ideas, they’re also useful for helping you to clarify your own thoughts as you’re developing new ones.
That’s why it’s always a good idea to give students one or two practices freewriting exercises every week. It will help them get a handle on how to think and document in different formats. It also helps them develop an understanding of how different forms of writing differ from each other. All of that becomes very valuable down the line.
Freewriting is a great exercise for getting a student to think in new ways, because a student writing about something new will be forced to engage his or her entire brain. In order to write about something new, a student needs to actually know something new. So taking a writing exercise that forces a writer to use his or her entire brain will require a new kind of thinking. Writing exercises like this one, which force a writer to use both his or her memory and his or her brain, force a writer to think out of the box. Something new and interesting.
A third benefit of writing exercises designed to improve writing skills is that a student can look at a completed exercise and immediately see how it fits into the larger picture. Let’s say, for example, that I’m working on an essay I’m going to send to a professor. Before I begin my homework, I usually do a fair amount of research online to make sure I understand the material.
The professor sends me my assignments, and I’m required to complete them before sending them back. Since I know a fair amount about the material, and since I can immediately see that my essay doesn’t make any sense, I take out a pencil and paper and immediately try to understand the concept behind the assignment.
By taking a writing exercise designed to help a writer with his or her essays, a student will develop skills that will help a writer writes better non-fiction papers as well. A better writer means a better writer, and a better writer means a better essay. That’s why writing exercises are a very good way to improve writing skills. Because they force a writer to use both his or her memory and his brain. And that’s the key to being a great essay writer.