Ernest Hemingway once said,
Prose is architecture, not interior decoration.
Content creation or writing is one of the most useful skills any student can learn. In school, content creation is applied in essays, journals, creative compositions, poetry and letter writing. Fashion and journalism majors are needed to create content for their blog pieces. Business students employ it in product descriptions, and social media marketing snippets. Music, literature and poetry majors also need excellent writing skills.
Paving the way for innovation through teaching content creation is a move that will handsomely pay off. In LinkedIn alone, there are over 9000 content creation jobs. Rewarding, isn't it, when your students can earn from content creation while still in school?
Raising world class content creators by teaching these 4 skills
Whether you are teaching your students to write a thesis, create content for the school website, write proposals, or to take part in an international essay competition, there are certain skill sets that need to be imparted. Originality, proper paragraph arrangement, and catchy content are just the basics.
Content creators are expected to write quality content in any given field. To do this, several skills have to be taught.
Most education systems fail to emphasize the importance of data mining. Data mining, also known as research in layman's language is invaluable in writing. It gives you more content to write on. It ensures you provide facts not just hearsay, especially if your research is based on authority sites.
Providing statistics makes a piece solid and believable. Take for example two introductions:
Indoor air pollution is a menace to the society.
Indoor air pollution is the source of an alarming 4.3 million deaths globally.
The second statement makes the piece feel weighty. Furthermore, research helps you better understand the topic you are writing on.
Being able to write pieces in different niches is key. Students should be able to write about anything thrown their way: a health piece, a finance piece, a simple social media snippet or poster.
Learning jargon for different industries is a good place to start. They should have the ability to discern what tone to use on which piece. They should be able to apply different styles of writing effortlessly.
Identifying the right tools
Unless it is a seat in exam, there is no reason why your students shouldn't make use of readily available tools to get better at their writing. The internet is full of invaluable resources.
To check for plagiarism, they could use platforms like Turnitin. Other sites like Small SEO Tools and various apps easily downloaded from the Play Store or iTunes can help with this too.
Grammarly is a great tool for students with grammar issues. It makes suggestions on spellings, article use, verb forms and even punctuation marks. Microsoft Word has an automated program for both British and American English.
Getting wright citation and referencing
Referencing can be a tad challenging for academic papers compared to other pieces. Students ought to master the different referencing styles; Chicago, APA, Harvard, Oxford, and MLA, all of which have different ways of citing sources. Non-Academic articles often employ hyperlinks when it comes to listing their sources.
Search Engine Optimization through keywords and appropriate titles might not necessarily apply to the classroom setting but is a skill that comes in handy.
Taking time to understand the intended audience for an article is also important. Using technology, learning content creation hacks, improving language command through books and movies, are great ways of raising excellent writers in your classroom.
All in all
In order to teach your students these skills you need patience and consistency. And maybe a learning management system. Maybe. Creating an online course with various tips and resources on how to do different pieces of writing where students can turn to wherever they have a writing assignment might be a good start. But more importantly, you need to have an open and constant conversation with your students on how best express their stories.