Preparing Your Child for Academic Writing: What about Structure?

Brave Writer sometimes gets accused of being a “creative writing” program, which is code for “Brave Writer doesn’t teach writing formats or structure.” Which, to be honest, is absurd. All writing is creative—even a Ph.D. dissertation!

To write means to draw on our insights and ideas to create (craft) a piece of writing that takes the appropriate shape for the intended audience. Sometimes that shape looks like freewriting or journaling or writing a tall tale. Other times that shape is a report or expository essay or a research paper.

Structure in writing is not confined to academic papers either. Graphic novels and comic strips have a kind of structure that is unique to those formats yet no less clear and defining than the structure of a Master’s thesis.

To have a better sense of how a child goes from freely expressing self in writing to the well-defined structure of academic writing later in life, take a look at this brief video, “What about Structure?”

Because Brave Writer aims to support writing at every stage of development, we begin with writing that appeals to a “pre-reader.” That means, the writing the youngest of our children do will be expressive of self and appealing to a child’s interests. Yet the process they engage is similar to what they will do when they are old enough and skilled enough to write long form essays for college.

Our writing project programs follow this path that leads to a natural aptitude for academic writing by the time your child is in high school and leaves for college.


Need more help? Check out writing projects my kids did at different stages:

Structure in Writing: Examples


If you’d like a downloadable PDF copy of the “What about Structure” slide deck to refer to again and again, grab yours here.

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