Essay Writing for Reluctant High School Writers

Why should you consider essay writing for reluctant high school writers? It’s a really smart place to start. Got a teen who has favorite subjects that AREN’T Language Arts? Try building on those interests with essay writing!

Essay Writing for Reluctant High School Writers. There's hope for homeschool high schoolers who don't like to write! 7Sisters has the Essay Writing curriculum that will help. No-busywork, short day-to-day lessons, user-friendly format. #HomeschoolHighSchool #ReluctantWriters #EssayWritingSkills #EssayWritingForTeensWhoHateWriting

Essay Writing for Reluctant High School Writers

Some of our 7Sisters’ high schoolers loved to write. They would happily write everything from poetry to essays. However, most of them did NOT love essay writing. The tough fact those teens had to face was the fact that essay writing is necessary for their yearly Language Arts credits.

Not only that, but essay writing is an important life skill:

  • College-bound teens write endless numbers of essays.
  • Teens going into the trades sometimes must write essays in their coursework and testing.
  • They will need to use the communication skills they learn in essays in many aspects of adult life.

essay writing is an important life skill: College-bound teens write endless essays. Teens going into the trades sometimes must write essays in their coursework and testing. They will need to use the communication skills they learn in essays in many aspects of adult life.

So, even reluctant essay writers, need to learn essay writing. SO, why not start with just the basic skills and take out the intimidation factor that many essay writing curricula uses?

That’s what we at 7Sisters have done with our Essay Writing series of downloadable writing guides. We use these guidelines for creating Essay Writing guides that even reluctant writers can enjoy.

For reluctant writers, a simple essay-writing curriculum is a good place to start because:

  • Typically, our essays are about five paragraphs and are less intimidating than longer writing.
  • The essays follow a formula, which means that it is easier to get started on covering that terrifyingly blank piece of paper.
  • Even for students who have not had extensive writing experience, it is possible to conquer something that could potentially only require 15 sentences for beginners.
  • 7Sisters guides are NO-busywork and taught in daily, step-by-step lessons. This makes them user-friendly even for reluctant writers.
  • Over the series of introductory essay writing, Intermediate Essay Writing and Advanced Essay Writing, teens develop confidence in a non-threatening essay setting. They are able to choose interesting and personally meaningful essay topics while they build skill in the various short essay styles.

How do you start essay writing for reluctant high school writers?

Intermediate Guide to Essay Writing
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Starting with essays on a topic your high schooler likes to argue about helps the student overcome fear. After all, an essay is really a written argument – and we all know that teenagers excel in that area!

(Of course, arguing using logical thoughts is a little more difficult, but it is important to learn. Writing essays help develop that skill!)

Using a step-by-step process spelled out in a study guide helps.

7Sisters Study Guides help even reluctant high school writers capture ideas, get them organized, and articulated on paper.

Even using the familiar format and taking the process a step at a time, some students have a hard time defending a thesis. One of my children struggled in this area, especially literature analysis (often reluctant writers are also reluctant readers).

The turning point for him was a co-op class that analyzed movies using 7Sisters Cinema Studies for Literature Learning.

He understood that he had to support his thesis with specific examples from the movie that he had watched. Since movies engage multiple senses, this was easier for him. He was able to relate specific examples in the movie to his thesis – an important accomplishment!

Introduction to Essay Writing
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Some of our other local homeschool high schoolers enjoyed picking essay topics from this post

Also, some homeschoolers who want more personal prompts or prompts that might be relevant enjoyed this post.

When reluctant-writing teens are allowed to have a sense of humor in their *serious* writing, they do better.

So if you can get them talking and laughing about their essays, or giving them silly topics to write about, they will be happier…and write less reluctantly.

As you work with your reluctant writer, never forget the power of encouragement.

At one time I had a struggling student in one of my homeschool group classes. On one of his essays I wrote, “You have the potential to be a good writer.” Later, he told me that it was a turning point for him – he decided to become a communications major in college. Of course, not all students will have such a life-changing experience, but all benefit from knowing that their hard work is being noticed and rewarded.

Encourage and empower your reluctant high school writer with 7Sisters Introductory, Intermediate, or Advanced High School Essay Writing.

BTW- All 7Sisters essay writing guides include writing prompts, but here are some more prompts that might be relevant to your teens.

Need a little encouragement? Our friend, Katie Glennon, explains Language Arts even for reluctant learners in this episode of the Homeschool Highschool Podcast.

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Essay Writing for Reluctant High School Writers

8 Replies to “Essay Writing for Reluctant High School Writers”

  1. Hi there. Here’s my conundrum. I have two eager readers; we read a lot in my house. They love creative writing, but research/essay writing is something that scares them and causes total breakdowns. The biggest thing for them is not knowing “how to start” and not knowing how to craft a strong thesis statement that they can build a paper around. Is there something that focuses mostly on those 2 things, or just on the thesis? I was looking at the MLA writing guide, but I’m not sure how much attention is paid to that topic…

    • Hi, Melanie! That “blank page paralysis” is so common in young writers, and our essay writing guides and research paper writing guides spend a lot of time helping students get a strong start. In addition to offering bite-sized pieces of instruction and clear examples, the tone of the instruction in our guides is conversational and encouraging. We’ve very intentionally aimed our guides toward students who are battling some degree of frustration or a lack of confidence. If you give our guides a try and find that they still are NOT getting your students the strong start they need, remember that we offer a 10-day no questions asked money-back guarantee. Just email us, and we’ll happily refund your money if the guides are not a good fit for your family.

  2. My son reads voraciously — always has! He has a lot of information locked up there in his brain. However, he does not enjoy writing at this point. I find this very frustrating because I always thought that his writing would follow his reading. Now that he is entering 9th grade, I am inclined to provide him a rich literature experience, but, although I know he will read and discuss what he reads just fine — the writing about this literature, I think, will be awful. It is difficult. He loses interest. Then he becomes a zombie. I’m sitting here thinking that I should divorce his reading (let him read great lit but not expect him to write about it yet?) from his writing — at least for this year, and just see if I can get him on a more comfortable footing with putting words on a page. He has done IEW Elegant Essay, and he can write a 5 paragraph paper, but it difficult if is not about something that he enjoys a lot! I’d love to hear your thoughts on this. Thanks!

  3. Hello,
    I have a reluctant reader and writer and I’m looking for ways to help him. He would be in 11th grade if he was still in public school.This is our second year homeschooling and we are working on filling in gaps in his education he is a very analytical person any advice would be greatly appreciated

  4. Good questions, Darlene. It is a wise idea to make sure your son’s writing skills are solid in the 11th grade- it is a key year!
    Here are some answers to your questions:
    -The text are downloadable pdfs. This is an ebook format that teens tend to like.
    -There is a rubric with suggestions on grading at the back of the book. You may adapt it to include subjective measures like promptness, neatness, etc.
    -The text is laid out in a day by day format with user-friendly lessons. All your teen needs to do is follow along.
    -The individual-topic texts (essay, poetry, short story) are $7.99 each, the research paper texts are $12.99 each, if you want one text that covers them all, it is $29.99 and well worth the money.
    Here’s a link to the guides:

  5. HI,
    This looks interesting for my highschooler. He will be in 11th next year and wants to take Creative Writing. I need to know about cost, how to this program, how to grade him, is this on line or in book form, etc. Thank you.

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