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Four Step Writing Tips and Tools for Middle School Students

Writing can be an overwhelming and “heady” task for many students to do. Frequently, students struggle with how to start an essay. They also complain about struggling to come up with enough to write about the topic given. I suggest to my students to always brainstorm first and use a graphic organizer to organize their thoughts and ideas. Here are four quick steps to help organize/pre-plan writing for middle school students.

1. Graphic Organizers/Brainstorming. There are many different types of graphic organizers students can use to help with writing such as cluster charts, webs, Venn diagrams, t-charts, to name a few. I love brainstorming webs, especially for five paragraph essays.

2. Outline Ideas. Once they’ve put those ideas into bubbles and circles, now it’s time to line them up in order. Use examples from the internet to give you ideas of different formats. Outlining makes the typing or writing process of an essay so much easier!

3. Prepare your Thesis. What is a thesis? A thesis is an answer or an answer to your essay question/topic. Be sure to include examples in your thesis statement and make sure it stays on topic!

4. Rough Draft. Rough drafts are so helpful because they give you a preview of how your brainstorm maps and outlines look written out in essay form. They also open room for you to edit and add information to your final essay by reviewing what you have written and making the necessary changes. Try to read the rough draft out loud and to others for additional help.


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