Structure is important
I have found that some students really benefit from some structure as they write, like I might need bumpers when go I bowling. It doesn’t mean I won’t learn to bowl well without them, it just means that I’ll feel more inclined to keep bowling if I have some success; some students will write next to nothing unless you give them a first sentence, a topic sentence for each paragraph, or some other roadmap.
Write outside the box:
Finally, structure can mate with creativity--and perhaps that's the ideal. Like Madlibs. This is a fill-in-the-blank writing exercise, yet I’m amazed when I challenge kids to come up with words beyond the pedestrian they come up with a very creative, often hilarious little story (something involving a butt).