Tips for Teens
The good news is that more and more teachers are using technology in their classrooms. That can help you make sure your writing is clear to your teachers and to anyone else reading it.
Some things to think about:
Your laptop or tablet is your friend! More and more classrooms are moving to technology to write assignments and even to take notes. You may be able to qualify for a free laptop or tablet through your school district or through a nonprofit organization. Using an electronic device can take away a lot of the stress of writing.
It might help to use dictation software (see our Resources page). Say out loud what you hope to express in the written assignment and let your computer get it on the screen for you first. Then go back and look at it typed up and make the changes you need to make.
Spell check programs are important - many adults and teens with dysgraphia rely on them. Don't feel bad about this, glasses are a tool to improve eyesight. Spell check is a tool to improve your writing.
Helping your Composition and Beyond
Feeling embarrassed about your handwriting? Don’t be! Most teachers just want to see that you understand what they are teaching. In classes like English and Social Studies, your teacher wants to see that you know how to do research, form a question and an answer to the question, and how to express yourself. In science, there may be writing and drawing involved. Your teacher mainly wants to see that you understand the process of solving a problem.
If you have a writing assignment, there are some strategies you can use to help express yourself without needing to do a lot of handwriting first.
Make sure you understand what the teacher wants you to write about. If you don’t understand, ask for help. Your teacher wants you to be successful!
Type up a list of the things you need to put in your writing assignment. What needs to be included? Could you use a figure or drawing to convey the information you know?
Use technology to help whenever possible.
Always re-read, check over, and edit your writing when you are done. You may greatly improve the final product.
Often it helps to walk away or do something else before you check and proofread. Looking at something fresh can help you find more errors.