Teaching Student Authors to Focus on Quality, not Quantity


In this blog, I am sharing how I am mentoring a group of high school science students to write and publish a book about their science research experiences by April 2015 with the goal of selling 500 copies by the end of the school year.

Student authors can be amazingly creative in their writing. They also vary in their output. Some write long, rambling pieces, while others write briefs. In teaching students to write books, or to blog about their books, you have to keep focusing them on the quality of their output. By quality, I don’t mean just polished. Instead, what quality writing means is that it appeals to and is highly desired by the target audience. Quantity, such as word count or number of pages, does not matter. Quality in the eyes of the target audience is what sells books.

Author and consultant, Tim Grahl, states in Your First 1000 Copies that “Good marketing is first and foremost about helping people.” He advocates that a blogger or author must be writing in a way that helps the reader in some way. It could be providing knowledge, motivation, inspiration, or just pleasure. Whichever it is, the reader feels compelled to read more. Students can lack confidence and feel that their writing may not be helpful, so encouraging them is essential.

Jen photoOne of my student authors, Jen Schwartz, is providing helpful information about cancer research on her blog. Check it out at http://jenniferleeschwartz.wordpress.com and please give her feedback.

Next week, my post will have an update about my students’ progress on their books.

Subscribe to this blog at https://bryanholmesstem.wordpress.com to get email updates of my posts with weekly tips you can use in your classroom as I describe how I am mentoring six high school science students to become published authors by April 2015. Also, please give me your feedback, and please share blog posts with other teachers or anyone who may benefit.


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