My son's problem is that he has too much to say for the writing time limits given. Anyone have advice for helping him cut to the chase? If you read his homework/essay tests you would think it was the encyclopedia. That's nice, except when you need to output quickly. I would encourage him to write to his heart's content, but we are also preparing for the SAT. I tell him he can write his "Master's Thesis" when he gets there--how can I help him keep it simple?
Does he know how to outline? If not I think I would teach him that skill. Besides getting a basic outling workbook, I'd also have him start outlining other things that he is reading: his history and science texts, articles he reads, etc (no fiction).
Once he is proficient in creating outlines from other's work, have him go back and using an outline from last week, write the article or essay from the outline.
Thanks for the suggestion. He does work from a simple outline of the ideas he wants to cover. He just spends too much time making his point. In a follow-up discussion with him, I think we are dealing with the Perfectionist Monster. He needs to learn to make his point and move on, not show what a great writer/student he is. Seriously, his writing is not rambling or irrelevant; it blows my mind how he puts it all together.
I will encourage him to write with an outline and in humility to make the time limit--if he wants to go back and write more later, more power to him!
Thanks a lot,