Essay Writing–Japanese Students

As an English Instructor, I have had the pleasure of working with students from different cultural backgrounds, especially where English is their second language.  This has posed a problem for these students in that when they are requested to write an essay, they face a dilemma:  to write the essay in their native language or to write it first in English.

Working with students of Spanish, Indian, Chinese, and Japanese descent, this dilemma always befell them.  Some students found it reasonably easy to write in their native language and then translate the essay into English while others found that approach somewhat difficult.

Here is an article from The Japan Times, written by Charlie Canning, which explains how to write well-written, simple essays and “avoid strife” in one’s life.

“How to Avoid Strife When Writing Essays”

“It is a classic dilemma for any Japanese student of English: with a deadline fast approaching, how to go about writing an essay when the target language is not the student’s native tongue? Many assume it is easier to write an essay in their native language and then to translate it into English. In fact, this may be much more difficult than writing an essay in English from the beginning. Writing an essay in the target language from scratch may seem daunting at first, but it may save time and heartache in the long run.”   READ THE ENTIRE ARTICLE


Ebooks on Writing by Katrina Williams

Writing can be a frustrating task for many students, particularly the older students, because they believe they have lost those writing skills they once knew.  For this reason, I have written several ebooks on writing to help students just like these.  I wrote these ebooks in the manner in which I teach the skills to my students.  I learn by following step-by-step instructions, and I find that method works well for most students, especially students whose grammar and writing skills are weak.

How to Write a Basic Essay in Seven Easy Steps: A Beginner’s Guide is designed to help students break down the various steps involved in writing an essay and tackle one task at a time.  My students tend to do well on essays where they write about topics they know a lot about, and when they are allowed to choose their own topics, I receive great essays.  They know themselves better than anyone else, so why wouldn’t they be able to write an essay that focused on themselves?

How to Write an Argumentative Essay is an extension of how to write a basic essay.  Because the argumentative format is somewhat specialized, meaning some elements must be included before it can be classified as an argumentative essay, students must understand some of the terminology related to the argumentative rhetorical mode.  These terms are defined and explained in the ebook along with directions on how to organize an argumentative essay.

How to Write a Short Story: A Beginner’s Guide is designed for the high school or college student as well as a beginning writer or author who wants to write essays of a creative nature, or in other words, short stories.  The basics of organizing a short story is outlined in this ebook in easy-to-follow, step-by-step instructions.


4 responses to this post.

  1. Is there any difference of writing essay between Japanese and English students? Or the same techniques are used?


    • Hi,

      I found when working with my students whose native language was not English, it was easier for them to write their essays first in their native language and then translate it into English. It was a bit easier for a tutor to help them proofread and edit their essays in English once the first draft was completed. I do find that students whose native language is not English tend to have more issues with prepositions, some verb phrases, and idiomatic expressions, which are inherent in the English language. But those issues can be easily remedied with tutorial assistance.

      Check out my ebooks on writing essays under My Books.

      Thanks for your questions. Stop by again soon.



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