A guide to writing essays, specifically to help students with Dyslexia.
The biggest challenge
For a dyslexic student, essay-writing presents the biggest challenge! Planning to meet a deadline is enough to bring on a panic attack!
Your difficulties with organization will also make it extra hard to sort out the shape of an essay. You will also find it hard to arrange all that you know – quite apart from the spelling and grammar. However, with your computer ready, these methods will help:
Draw a ‘Mind Map’
Begin your diagram with a circle in the middle of a sheet of paper. Inside the shape or on the line, write the name of your topic. From your circle, draw three or four lines out into the page. Be sure to spread them out.
At the end of each of these lines, draw another circle. Write the main ideas that you have about your topic in each circle, or the main points that you want to make. If you are trying to argue a point, you want to write your main arguments. If you are trying to explain a process, you want to write the steps that should be followed.
From each of your main ideas, draw three or four more lines out into the page. At the end of each of these lines, draw another circle. In each circle, write the facts or information that supports that main idea. When you have finished, you have the basic structure for your essay and are ready to continue.
The introductory paragraph tells the reader what the essay will be about.
You must now look at your diagram and decide what the main point you will be making is. Your initial statement will have two parts. The first part states the topic, e.g. Concern about global warming. The second part states the point of the essay, for example that global warming is caused mainly by pollution of the atmosphere by vehicle exhaust fumes:
The introduction should be designed to attract the reader’s attention and give them an idea of the essay’s main argument.
Many people find the introduction very hard to write, but you could begin with: