Writing Day at Middle School!

Tips and Writing Prompt to Boost Your 8th Grader’s Writing!


Opening Questions for the 8th Graders:
  1. What are the best ways to do well to write in high school (or, what do you have to do to earn great grades!)?
  2. What does good writing mean to you? (ideas: great word choice, clearly expressed ideas, keeping the reader’s attention, actually answering the teacher’s writing question, organization)

Quick, Easy to Use Writing Tips for 8th and 9th Grade

Immediately Improve Your Writing for Better Grades and Amazing Skills Development!

  1. The Real Meaning – Always Go Back to the Teacher’s Question. Do not even start writing until you clearly know what the question demands of you. Ask your teacher for help and then begin to brainstorm ideas.
  2. Details – Play the Game “Don’t let your teacher, your parent, your brillant big sister say or write to you about your writing, ‘What do you mean?’ or ‘Can you tell more here?’” Bring your writing to life with details and examples.
  3. Read out loud and make changes – the power of your voice combined with your words will surprise you and improve your writing. Read your draft out loud then make edits as necessary.
  4. 1st Sentence Trick – each 1st sentence of every paragraph needs to clearly show the topic or the main idea of what comes next. Proofread your drafts with the first sentence trick!
  5. Words to Avoid:
    1. Avoid passive verbs like the plague: ‘am, is, are, was, were, be, been, being’ – sometimes we have to use these verbs, and that’s ok. But remember specific action verbs create beautiful, captivating writing.
    2. Easy over used words – got, things, very, really. Use better words to show the “really” or “very” – you can do it!
  6. Remember, there is no good writing, only good re-writing. Yes, gone are the days of cranking out an essay the night before it is due and expecting to earn a good grade. Accept the time and effort you need to go back to your draft, read it, read it out loud, and make changes.
  7. Never start your creative writing with the weather UNLESS the weather shows important symbolism or meaning to the main idea of your story. Too many students begin their personal narratives with, “It was a dark and rainy day,” or “The blue sky and bright sun filled the afternoon….”



* Let’s start improving your writing by taking baby steps towards writing a personal narrative story – all about you!

  • Who are you?
  • What three adjectives would someone who knows you really well say about you?
  • What are your values as a person entering high school? (family, religion, friends, sports, theater, music, travel, business, dedication, perseverance).

What story can you tell about yourself to show the answer to these questions?

Throughout history, people tell stories to share elements of their culture, society, and personal beliefs. Although many attempt to share a great story, only a few can bring their experiences to life.

Good writers, just like good story tellers employ the elements of the five senses: sight, sound, smell, taste, touch to make a story colorful.

They also write from the heart and include specific details that help readers see life through their eyes.


Directions: Write a story that helps explain who you are or tells about an experience that helped shape the most important values you hold today.

***Please see the thought provoking questions below to get your thinking started


Requirement for Your Story:

  • 4-5 senses: sound, smell, taste, touch, sight (remember, the sense of sight is overused!)
  • Dialogue – you talking or someone talking to you (remember, there are 100 ways to “say said”) – yes, try to include dialogue in your story to show something about you or to move the plot forward.
  • Describe an internal conflict you wrestled with based on your experience
  • Special Writer’s Challenge FOR ADVANCED SKILL DEVELOPMENT:
    Show (do not tell) how you became a more experienced person
    Include a specific object (like a picture or a particular blanket, stuffed animal, sports ball, grandma’s recipe) that symbolizes a characteristic about you.

Jump Start Your Story!

Check out these questions to help you chose the story you will tell:

Questions to jump start your creative brain:

  • Have you ever been blamed for something that you did not do?
  • Did you ever become so frustrated with a friend or team mate or teacher than you took action?
  • What three adjectives best describe you? (caring, athletic, smart, friendly, quiet, fun) and tell a story as to what has made you that way.


  • “Writing is easy. All you have to to do is cross out the wrong words,” Mark Twain
  • “Don’t tell me the moon is shining; show me the glint of light on broken glass,” Anton Chekhov
  • “Books are the mirrors of the soul,” Virginia Woolf
  • “I can shake off everything as I write; my sorrows disappear, my courage is reborn,” Anne Frank
  • “It isn’t what we say or think that defines us, but what we do,” Jane Austen

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