To improve writing skills, work on beginnings and endings, says Brenda Miller Power of the University of Maine. She offers strategies to help writers of all ages master beginnings and endings:
- Explore examples of leads and conclusions by asking students to read aloud the first sentence or paragraph of their favorite book or story.
- Create categories and classify the leads. Do the same with conclusions. These charts can be used in writing sessions to help students revise their own pieces.
- Select a first draft and rework the beginning. The time to craft a powerful opening is after the first draft is finished.
- Practice. Have students copy the beginning sentence of their pieces. Trade papers and ask the recipients to write something that either ends or begins with the line they have been given.