This is the VOA Learning English Education Report.
Writing an essay or paper for school can feel like – and often is – a big challenge. But an expert from Duke University in North Carolina has some ideas to make the process easier -- and produce better results.
Jennifer Ahern-Dodson is an assistant writing professor. She also helps organize writing groups for both students and teachers. She believes getting advice and suggestions from others can help.
珍妮弗·埃亨 - 多德森是一位写作助理教授。她还帮助为师生们组织创作小组。她认为，得到他人的意见和建议会有帮助。
Ms. Ahern-Dodson says that students usually share their writing only when it is completed and ready to give to the teacher. Instead, she suggests that you prepare an early draft version. Then, ask yourself who can give you helpful feedback, or reaction, on what you have written.
埃亨 - 多德森女士表示，学生们通常只会在完成并准备交给老师前分享他们的作品。与此相反，她建议大家准备一个初步草案，然后问问自己，谁可以就你所写的内容给你有益的反馈。
"Who can I share it with? Who can give me feedback? What I like to describe that as, is finding the right reader at the right time."
Or, Ms. Ahern-Dodson says you may want more than one reader to comment. You may want a writing group.
埃亨 - 多德森女士说，或者你可能想要多位读者就此发表评论，这样你可能就需要一个写作组织。
"A lot of my work with students and faculty (teachers) is helping them form writing communities to share writing on a regular basis."
She says starting a group takes "a little bit of cultivating." One requirement is that everyone taking part must offer their own work for comment.
"Like any community, you don't build trust immediately. Part of it is, everyone has to be willing to share their own writing. And you have to establish ground rules. Rules of the road, right?"
Ms. Ahern-Dodson says these rules should include what kind of feedback is needed.
埃亨 - 多德森女士说，这些规则应该包括需要什么样的反馈。
"Usually folks don't want someone to be mean. But you want your readers to be specific, and give useful feedback."
She says that means much more than saying "Good job!'" or "Great!" without real thought.
She says sharing writing can reduce the stress that many students feel when they write a paper just before the deadline, the time limit. This is the idea of a student who goes into a room alone and 12 hours later comes out with a good paper. She says some people call this "binge" writing.
"Yes, some people can do that successfully. But it's not a positive experience that you want to do again and again and again."
She has other ideas for what she called "a sane and enjoyable writing life.
Ms. Ahern-Dodson says some people form writing groups where they live. Others establish groups with other students from their classes.
埃亨 - 多德森女士表示，有些人在居住地组成写作小组。还有些人同自己年级的学生一起建立小组。
"Some just meet in a coffee shop (store) and bring whatever writing that they're working on at the time. You know, finding a community of writers cannot only get your writing going but it can keep your writing going."
And she says that is very valuable for writing well.
And that's the VOA Learning English Education Report for today. I'm Jeri Watson.