Are you struggling to teach your children to write? Wondering how your child will ever learn to write a thesis paper?
Wonder no longer. It’s only 7 easy steps from teaching kids to outline to writing a thesis paper!
7 Easy Steps from Outlining to Thesis Paper
1. Teach Your Kids to Outline
Teach your kids to outline using Kingfisher History Encyclopedia to find the topic sentence of each paragraph in the small section you are reading. Be certain to sit down with your child until he or she is comfortable finding the topic sentence of each paragraph.
Once your child can find the topic sentence easily, introduce outlining subtopics as well. Then begin outlining minor subtopics until he or she can easily create a 2 or 3 level outline.
Practice at this level for a time and solidify outlining skills. Again, this may time some time of sitting down and walking your child through the steps. Children need a bit of hand holding before they become independent!
If you’d like more details about how exactly to teach your kids to outline, read 4 Easy Steps to Teach Your Kids to Outline!
2. Narrate from the Outline
Have your kids read aloud from their outline. Does the outline make sense and follow a cohesive order?
Not only does narrating from the outline check to make certain the outline makes sense, it also gives children practice with public speaking. So encourage your kids to narrate from the outline to siblings and friends!
If your child cannot narrate from the outline, you’ll need to sit down and check the outline. Is it clear? Is it laid out in a logical order? Sometimes the outline is at fault.
Other times the child simply needs time and practice narrating from the outline.
3. Write a Short Report
Start having your child write a short report from the outline, and by short I mean a 4-5 sentences or a paragraph. You want your child to become comfortable writing from the outline.
After several reports have been written and you’re happy with the logical flow, begin to gradually increase the length and number of paragraphs. Don’t worry about trying for a 3-5 page paper. It’s better to for your kids to practice writing a 3-5 paragraph paper every week than trying to write one 3-5 page paper a quarter. After all, practice makes perfect!
And the repetition will solidify the skills of outlining and writing from an outline.
4. Outline from Multiple Sources
It’s time to introduce your student to outlining from multiple sources. Begin adding information from the encyclopedia and other books to the outlines your child creates from Kingfisher History Encyclopedia.
Usually the best method is to take notes from several sources before you begin to create your outline. Begin with the encyclopedia and short children’s books. They’re much easier to use than 300 page tomes of information! Once your child has the notes they need, organize the notes into an outline.
Remember to give your child some time to become comfortable with the new skills before moving on to the next step.
5. Write a Multiple Source Report
Your child should find it easy to write a multiple source report once the outline is pulled together. Remember to keep the reports short and sweet. Aim for 3-5 paragraphs. It’s better to write many short reports than it is to write one long report!
Once the report is written, introduce your child to the bibliography.
6. Introductions and Conclusions
Add introductions and conclusions to your child’s arsenal. Remind your child that just as we say “Hello and Good-bye” in our speech, we need to introduce (say hello) and conclude (say Good-bye) in our writing.
I pull books off the shelf and show how even nonfiction books begin with an introduction and end with a conclusion. The introduction and conclusion may be an entire chapter, but nonfiction books do include them!
Remember that the introduction says what you’re going to talk about. In a short paper, the introduction may only be one sentence long. In a longer paper, it will be a paragraph.
Conclusions work the same way. A short paper will only need one sentence to wrap up the paper and restate what you said. However a longer paper will need a paragraph.
7. The Thesis Paper
Remember a thesis is an argument. A thesis paper is an argument for or against something.
For instance a thesis statement may be that everyone should visit the moon. Then in the paper you logically give reasons why everyone should visit the moon during their lifetime. You’ll want your child to develop at 3-5 arguments to support their thesis statement.
At this stage, spend some time practicing coming up with thesis statements. Then sit down and write the outline to support the arguments together. The introduction should include the thesis statement and a brief overview of the arguments you’ll be making. The conclusion should restate the thesis statement and tie everything together.
And there you have it, seven easy steps from outlining to thesis paper!
And if you’d like a structured curriculum, IEW offers a fabulous writing curriculum that I love and use with my own kids. You’ll have the confidence you need to guide your kids from outlines to thesis papers!