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  • Kayleigh

Friday Tip: Using Mentor Texts

Looking to improve your writing and style?

Try copying out a short excerpt of writing by an author whose work you enjoy.

This is sometimes referred to as copying a “mentor text” and gives you an opportunity to think critically about and practice other writing styles.

So, how does it work?

📜 Choose a short story, chapter, or excerpt from an author whose style and voice you admire. Write or type out a copy of the excerpt. This puts your brain into a different mindset than if you were just reading.

⏱️ Slow yourself down. (If it helps, read the text aloud as you copy it.)

🔍 Stop to appreciate word choices, dialogue, and structure. Consider how they introduce characters or set their scene. Notice literary devices they use.

🤔 When you’re done, write down your observations and thoughts. What appeals to you in the text? What does this author do differently that you would like to try in your own writing?

🖋 After reflecting, draft your own piece of writing utilizing those aspects of the mentor text that you appreciated, allowing them to boost (never stifle) your own unique writing style and voice.

Did you give this method a try, or have you practiced writing using mentor texts before?

Share your experience with fellow writers in the comments!

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