Tools for Tutors: Creative Writing is for Everyone

How could budding scientists benefit from writing short stories? Or aspiring lawyers from reading and writing poetry?

As a teaching professional, maybe you want to ignite your students’ creativity and improve their communication skills while maintaining their passion for your discipline. One way to achieve it may be through providing entertaining lectures and long reading lists or you can encourage your students to make creative writing part of their learning journey.

By opening their eyes to a wide range of written works, some of them far removed from what they are required to read and write, you will help them improve their language skills and learn how to engage their audience which is crucial when it comes to working on projects and applying for grants and jobs. Also, sometimes students need permission to be playful. So, let them play with language as if it were a heap of Lego bricks waiting for them to build something fresh and unexpected.

Most importantly, by engaging creatively with the process of writing and communicating, students will have a chance to explore their inner voices, produce new ideas, perspectives and modes of expression. This will help them build confidence and persevere until they get the result they want.

If you feel brave enough to incorporate creative writing in your teaching practice, here are some activities to get you started. At the end of this blog, we have included some more ideas for you to explore:

  • Self-reflection: ask your students what fears they have when it comes to writing, how they perceive themselves as writers, and what they enjoy and do not enjoy about writing.
  • Make something new: give them a copy of an academic article related to their discipline and ask them to choose a few key statements. Use these to write a poem or a 100-word story which can be then shared among within the group.
  • Unexpected perspectives: plan a story from the perspective of a virus in your body. What does it feed on? What damage can it do? Have fun with the knowledge and discover ways in which you can make it exciting for others. Use various perspectives, depending on the subject. This technique will help your students develop a multilayered understanding of concepts and knowledge they have been learning.

Happy creative writing!

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Reflect: now that you have read this article, take a few minutes and jot down answers to the questions below. This will help you remember the most insightful points and put together an action plan that works for you:

  • What inspired you?
  • As a result, what do you want to do more of?
  • And what do you want to do less of?
  • What will you do next to achieve these goals?

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