Gulliver’s Writing Companion

“A good essay must have this permanent quality about it; it must draw its curtain round us, but it must be a curtain that shuts us in, not out.“ ~ Virginia Woolf

What does Virginia Woolf understand about essay writing that I am missing? When I was in school, if I was told I could choose to write about anything I wanted, it was a signal for my brain to run in circles like a dog chasing it’s tail. Therefore, I like to give my writing students a place to start. Using a prompt isn’t the answer to writing an essay that pulls the curtain around us and invites the reader inside, but it certainly gets the ball rolling.

If you are using the essay prompts from Living Outside the Lines as part of your curriculum this year you might find this post, What Did Ē-ssay helpful. It includes simple definitions for the various types of essays you might want to assign your child to write and links to a couple of reviews on writing curriculum. If you would like to take the tension out of grading your child’s writing assignments you might find these files helpful. Essay Rubric,General Grading Guidelines for Essays, or A Grading Rubric Helps the Student and Teacher.

If you are reading Gulliver’s Travels with us you might like these Writing Assignment Ideas Gulliver’s Travels.

What about you? Do you have a formula that you use to write a good essay? Do you think your essays draw a reader in?

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