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Writing an essay/speech? How you begin matters.

Do you get to the point or do you build context first?

A teen at the Young Writers' Club has been working on a debate speech in favour of driverless cars in the future. She wants to begin her speech by talking about electric cars and then move on to driverless cars. Her first paragraph heavily dwells on how electric cars are gaining consideration especially in the context of climate change and eventually the paragraph concludes with driverless cars also being electric in the future. Reading her introductory paragraph, I was curious to know more why she chose this approach in which she focusses on electric cars where as the focus needs to be on driverless cars, since that is the subject of debate. The conversation led me to understand her perspective. What she was trying to convey was that just as electric vehicles were considered something unlikely or not possible before, they are slowly coming in vogue. Similarly, driverless cars would also come in vogue since they have so many advantages. We talked about how we could make that argument in writing so that the reader could see her perspective more clearly.

The Readers' Perspective

Children write and tend to expect the reader to understand what they are able to see and understand in their own minds. What they don't realise is that there are details mapped out in their minds which often don't come on paper thus leaving the reader puzzled. That often leads to judgement, completely shutting out the writer and convincing them to believe that they can't write.

Simple fix

Discussing their writing from a reader's perspective, asking questions to sensitise them about missing information and in the process making them realise that what they are able to see in their minds is not completely visible to the reader unless they express it in a clear fashion. Encouraging them to read their own writing preferably aloud would also help them identify aspects in their writing that could be less clear to the reader.

Reader is the King/Queen

Enabling the reader to easily read, understand one's writing is the key to making it possible for them to enjoy one's writing and feel the desired impact. Everyone of us have favourite authors. These people have a way to establish instant connection with the reader, so much so that we become fans of their writing.


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Both weekday and weekend batches are available at the Young Readers' Club. While this program is for the 8-11 age group, the Young Writers' Club program for the 12-14 age group offers a weekly platform to read and discuss curated articles from the news, observe writing approaches and practise one's writing skills.

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