Academic writing or scholarly writing is an essential part of all academic fields. It is the way things are analyzed and the way knowledge is shared. There are many types of academic writing; each type has a specific purpose. There is scientific writing like lab reports or articles. There is also academic writing used for developing the skills needed to do more advanced types of writing. An example of this type of writing would be low-stakes writing.
According to an article Low-Stakes Writing: Writing to Learn, Not Learning to Write, low-stakes writing is a tool to help students build comfort with sharing and developing their thoughts through writing. It gives a student or the writer the opportunity to develop ideas freely and without any structure or pressure limiting their creativity. Like the title of that article said, the purpose of this type of writing is not to focus on structure and grammar; it’s about analyzing the content. Low-stakes writing is one of the most important types of academic writing.
Without low-stakes writing, there can’t be more developed and structured writing. In order to be able to do any type of writing, it is necessary to master this type. This is because it is a starting point of ideas. First you put something on the page and keep adding and adding without worrying about grammar or structure. You get your ideas out there and when you finally have a clear image of what it is you want to write about, you can start developing your idea in a more structured way. This type of writing is usually assigned to students to students by a teacher as a sort of bellringer, meaning to say it is mostly used in the classroom.
This is because low-stakes writing tends to help students familiarize with the topic they are about to discuss. When asked about the use of this type of writing in the classroom, my English teacher said, “I usually assign journal entries that have to do with the topic I will discuss in class. For example, if I’m going to talk about slam poetry I assign a journal entry asking: What is the power of literature. ” If a student is required to work on high-stakes writing, then it is important to prepare them to the task first.
A perfect way to do this would be low stakes writing. There are different types of low-stakes writing. These include class notes, free-writing exercises, journal entries, summaries. Each of these different low-stakes writing activities have their purpose. Summaries for example, are used to help the student go over what was discussed. It helps the students process the newly acquired information in a way that makes them collect data and get something from it. Journal entries serve another purpose. These can serve as as a very flexible bell ringer.
It can be used to introduce the students to the topic that is about to be discussed or it can serve as a small exercise that keeps the dust off the creativity skills. These type of assignments that are meant to be small. They are loosely graded and are not a big part of a student’s average. This might compel you to wonder why it is even a part of the curriculum. In fact these assignments are what ensure that a student is ready to take on the tasks that do require more engagement. If a student is not familiar with a topic, then it will be pretty hard for that student to write a well-structured paper about that topic.
Writing a journal entry or creating a short answer that helps him or her get comfortable with the subject by making them research or really think about the topic can really make a difference. Low-stakes writing can be the starting step to understand any difficult topic, This type of writing is a great way to help the brain be ready for anything. According to Allison Pease from John Jay College of Criminal Justice, this is because, “as opposed to sitting and listening to a lecture, having to write about ideas forces students to process information actively.
Active processing of information forces the brain to translate between mental processing domains, which in turn leads to the formation of distinctive memories and hence to better retention. ” This means that this type of writing can help a student to actually keep information or new skills stored and be able to apply them whenever it is needed. It involves different areas of the brain which helps students improve their critical thinking skills. Research has shown that repeating tasks or retrieving a memory can help build stronger neurological connections in the brain.
Just like athletes repeat their drills over and over in order to improve, repeating low-stakes writing exercises can help you do better when working with high-stakes writing. All that repetition and work can even improve your overall performance. Minnesota State says: Low stakes writing improves the quality of students’ high stakes writing. With frequent low stakes pieces we ensure that students have already done lots of writing before we have to grade a high stakes piece–so that they are already warmed up and fluent in their writing.
Their high stakes pieces are more likely to have a clear, alive voice. And it’s no small help to their high stakes writing that we have seen a number of their low stakes pieces. Then, when they turn in a high stakes essay that is awkwardly tangled or even impenetrable, we don’t have to panic or despair; we can just say, “Come on. You can write all this in the clear lively voice I’ve already seen you using. ” There are students who prefer to write notes down in class due to the fact that when you write information down you process it better.
For example, when students take spelling tests they usually write down the words they need to study several times until they are sure of the spelling. Repeatedly working with low-stakes writing can help a student improve their writing skills and do better on exams. All of that is low-stakes writing that when used frequently, can help a student achieve a better performance in academic areas. Another reason that makes low-stakes writing a great tool is its flexibility. It’s not only limited to English, it can be implemented in other areas as well.
It has proven to be very effective for math, history and science. The word problems at the beginning of a math class are nothing new, but students rarely think of them as a writing tool. This is because most people fail to see that writing is an important part of any subject. It is necessary for things to be written down and archived in order to know about history. All data that is collected after conducting an experiment need to be written down and then constructed into a report that explains any new discovery in a way that the world can understand.
In order to understand and practice words it is important to know how to understand and connect information which can be done when writing a gist of what was learned in class. We see all this writing in everything we do which is why low-stakes writing is very important. Low-stakes writing can also help a student develop a sense of freedom when it comes to writing. For many people writing can be very frustrating. There are time limits, length requirements, formats to follow and grammar to deal with. This can make a student come to fear writing an essay.
Low-stakes writing is very unstructured and flexible. They are short so time is not really a problem. Since the focus of these assignments is mostly content, a student doesn’t have to worry about grammar. Low-stakes writing gives any person the opportunity to get comfortable with putting their thoughts out there. It is where a student can get discover his or her voice as a writer. The Minnesota State Colleges and Universities website talks about this particular benefit in their article Benefits of Low Stakes Writing:
Low stakes writing helps students find their own language for the issues of the course; they work out their own analogies and metaphors for academic concepts. Learning a discipline means learning its discourse, but it also means learning not to use that discourse. That is, students don’t know a field until they can write and talk about what’s in the textbook and the lectures in their own lingo, in their informal, “home” or “personal” language that is saturated with experience. This type of writing allows a student to be able to understand their own thoughts and find their style.
Low-stakes writing can be a very useful tool for any student. It can help build stronger connections in the brain, improve critical thinking skills, enhance memory and expand a student’s understanding of any topic discussed. This type of writing is what helps a writer feel comfortable with his own words and it is the beginning of a well developed essay. It is one of the most basic yet important types of academic writing there is. Without it, learning would be practically impossible for many people. Due to its many benefits, low-stakes writing plays a very essential role in the world of learning.