Success in the subject is an important prerogative for scholastic success, even if a lot of confusion reigns over how to write a theme well.
This is how Maria Teresa Serafini, author of How to make a subject in the classroom, thinks so, proposing a method to improve her writing skills.
Few teachers seem to be able to provide methodologically valid help to students in difficulty. Instead, it would be advisable for each teacher to teach students simple composition techniques. It is not easy to write a theme, the author notes, indeed “the production of a successful writing is the result of a long and difficult job, which requires a lot of effort”, even to professional writers.
The method proposed by Serafini includes the following writing rules:
- have a plan
- ordering ideas
- organize the text
- to correct
Plan. Phase that takes no more than five minutes. No pen or paper needed. It is a matter of pausing to understand the subject’s statement and the teacher’s instructions, to which clarifications may be requested.
Production of ideas. It may take twenty minutes. It includes the collection of information, the organization of ideas, the identification of the thesis to be supported in the writing. You must use a sheet to write on. The ideas, initially pinned in a disorganized way, must then be collected, linked, articulated between them. In this regard, the technique of associative clusters can be used. A map is then constructed or, even better, the theme ladder is prepared.
Text production. It takes roughly an hour and twenty minutes. It’s about putting substance around the skeleton of the theme, which is the ladder. In other words, every idea produced in phase 2 will be developed in a paragraph. There is no need to be too rigid: while the topic is being extended, new ideas will emerge in the mind of the writer and it is right for the student to welcome them and develop them.
Give the composition
To give the composition a form as harmonious as possible, the sentences and paragraphs must be linked together using the so-called connective: a pronoun, the repetition of a keyword, some expressions such as: therefore, therefore, it follows that, for example, that is, but, however, instead, on the contrary, as soon as, later, when, in the same way, then, moreover, and, finally, to summarize, concluding etc.
Each topic also includes an introduction and a conclusion, which the student will construct appropriately. A good rule, then, is to have an eye for punctuation.
Revision. It takes an hour or so. It involves the re-reading of the paper, the correction, the copying and re-reading of the final text.
According to Rowntree (Learn to study, Sovera Multimedia publisher) The theme is useful to the student as he obliges him to organize his thoughts in order to expose a personal point of view on the subject. Furthermore, there are many study activities that require a certain ability to compose.
There are 5 stages involved in the preparation of a theme:
- understand work
- collect the material
- plan the theme
The development of a theme requires planning.
We need to understand the statement well, so we need to gather some useful material for the performance, taking care of course to correctly orientate our research, so as not to make it too wide and unusable.
If you have time before delivering the theme, it is a good idea to bring a notebook on which the ideas that gradually mature in us on the subject will be noted. Valuable sources of information can be: biographies, encyclopedias, magazines, specialized periodicals, government reports, newspaper clippings.
However, we should not neglect less formal sources, first of all our own personal experience.
The information collected must then be selected, discarding any non-relevant information.
The next phase is the preparation of the trace, followed by the actual drafting of the theme. Maybe starting from the end, from the conclusion, which may well be a compendium or summary of the concepts presented.
The first draft of a theme is not to be considered the definitive one: corrections, new ideas, clarifications can be inserted later.
If you have the opportunity, it will be good to leave “decant” your writing for a few days, so that you can judge it more objectively and make the necessary changes.
In writing a theme it is preferable to adopt, according to Rowntree, a style inspired by clarity, linearity, conciseness; short sentences, everyday language.
Finally, the theme needs a transcription. The external appearance is anything but secondary; the finished work will have to appear orderly and above all the spelling will have to be understandable. Better still if the theme will be printed after being composed on the computer with a word processing program.
In a essay topic it will be good to provide the bibliography consulted and to quote the opinions of the cited authors.