Did you know that teachers and writers share a common dream; to save time writing?
It’s true, they do.
Every teacher and writer the world over wishes they could make more time.
Or at least that they could invent a magic wand that they could use to save time writing assignments, save time when they grade student assignments, and maybe even pause time whilst they write.
Save Time Writing and Grading Writing Assignments
The excellent news for any teachers and writers out there is that there are ways to save time writing.
Read on for ideas you can try for making the hours you have available each day work for you whilst minimising errors, quickly editing, offering feedback and advice, and creating processes that will work for you long term.
Tips For Grading Writing Assignments Faster
Review the questions: This might seem obvious, but to grade a writing assignment you need to reread the assignment before you start to grade any papers, essay, or assignment of any type.
Spotting errors will be easier with the aim fresh in your mind.
In turn, this will help you save time as there will be no need to redo your work later.
Get students involved:
To grade your assignments quickly always use a rubric system.
A pro tip is to share your rubric template with your class and help them understand how it is used to grade their essays.
Grading papers will help your classroom to better understand what is expected of them, resulting in fewer errors.
They can also review the rubric vs their own papers as part of the learning process and include this with their submission.
Having students grading papers saves you time and gives them a lesson in personal responsibility too.
Choose Your Focus:
To save time writing when you are reviewing your work, you might consider not correcting every error that you see.
This can be incredibly demotivating for students if you do.
Instead, stick to two or three main criteria from the teaching points covered in your lessons.
Things like excessive typos or common punctuation errors can be added in an additional comment section for things to check themselves before submitting any future essays.
Tips for Writing Faster
Be Selfish About Focus: Distractions are the number one time zapping problem for writers.
Whether you are a budding fiction writer, an established blogger, or a student writing an essay, you need to get selfish to get focus.
Switch off all alerts (switch your phone off completely if possible), set up out-of-office, or unavailable messages for all emails and calls.
Keep a note pad next to you as you work to jot down anything that pops into your mind that you are worried you might forget to do later.
It is surprising just how many of these thoughts we have whilst we work.
Schedule Writing Time:
“I’ll do it later” never gets done. A day plan does. Be realistic about when you can and cannot write without distraction.
Create a schedule with all of your commitments and responsibilities, including writing. Unless it is truly urgent, nothing else should bump your writing time out of your schedule.
The same goes for starting an assignment.
]Procrastinating about starting is a time wasting exercise in its own right.
Start as soon as you receive the assignment, or within your soonest scheduled writing time.
It is always better to finish early and leave yourself time to review and double check evidence of any statements that you have included.
Time Saving Tools For Teachers
Save time writing and grading assignments by using free website tools for more efficient working styles.
Embrace the real time:
If your school has not already created a cloud policy, introduce the school and your students to cloud-based websites like Google Drive and Google Docs (access is free and password protected).
These are useful tools for easily sharing class assignments.
Tools like these can help you organise yourself better too by creating folders for each class and each assignment.
Students can share their essays and papers with you in real time, making it easier for you to quickly edit.
This saves you from having to download and save every essay from your email and store them on your computer. Instead, they will be available to you on the go. Useful for quick reference.
You can also check in to see how they are getting on within the set timeframe.
If you spot someone who might be struggling, you will know in advance and be able to offer assistance rather than only finding out when they fail to meet the deadline.
Time Saving Tools For Writers
Use Your Voice:
Technology is a real winner when it comes to finding ways to streamline and automate. You can even write without writing now thanks to the innovations in voice recording. Many writing tools, including
These all have the ability to accurately transcribe what you say.
The speech to text function can be a great time saver for anyone who is short of time to write.
It is useful for putting together a draft of a new assignment, getting all of the information and ideas onto a page before going back to edit and finesse.
Tools like Grammarly are useful for writers and students alike. Put it on your phone and laptop and it will note errors as you go.
Once you have your draft complete, check through Grammarly’s list of notes and suggestions and choose to accept or ignore them.
Automating editing makes reading through your writing much easier as you can first correct the distracting typos and grammar errors and then read through again to check tone and facts.
Whether you are a teacher, a student, or a writer the same rules apply when it comes to saving time on writing assignments.
The first rule is to set up systems for as much of your work and day as possible. If you have systems, things will get done.
The second rule is for every new task that goes in, one must come out.
Simply put, you cannot do everything at once.
If you have a new assignment, then something else in your schedule may need to be de-prioritised until a later date.
Remember, you need to get selfish to get focus.
About The Author:
Beverly R. Gibson is a teacher and writer with exceptional focus. Beverly has first-hand experience grading student papers and balancing a writing career at the same time and loves nothing more than sharing what she has learned to make other peoples’ lives easier.