Writing assignments constitute a significant portion of work you are expected to do in college, and they are also usually the ones that cause students the most grief. While some people seem to be naturally good at writing, others may struggle to acquire even the most basic proficiency in this area. It can go on for years, and some even have to drop out because of their inability to deal with the majority of their work. Of course, there is always an option of getting cheap essay writing help from a trustworthy academic assistance service – however, getting all your assignments there may be unviable, and you should apply at least some effort towards improving your writing skills.
How to Boost Your Writing Skills (6 Sure Ways)
Fortunately, there is nothing impossible about it – with enough dedication, one can master any skill, writing included. So what can you do to get better at it? Let us take a look at what is suggested by the majority of skilled writers.
Read a Lot
Most of our writing skill is not fully conscious. We do not construct phrases and sentences artificially, word by word – they come up in our minds spontaneously, as if by themselves – conscious effort serves mostly to polish them sufficiently to put on paper. Even at that stage, we subconsciously refer to our experience and build sentences based on what we heard and read.
This naturally leads us to a conclusion that the more you read, the more reference material you get. Your language gets richer, you become better at building sentences and expressing yourself. It is not a quick-fix solution, but if you follow in this direction, the change for the better will be constant and stable.
Join a Debating Club/Society
Most writing assignments require that you prove your point, persuade the audience that you are right, or explain something. All this requires logical thinking but, unfortunately, modern education falls very much short when it comes to teaching this skill.
This means that you will have to take the matter into your own hands – for example, by joining a debating club. While debates are carried out orally, it will still teach you how to express and defend your point of view, look for logical inconsistencies in other people’s arguments and cover the gaps in your own reasoning.
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It should go without saying, but many students seem to be confident that there is some magical way to become excellent writers overnight, without applying any effort. Unfortunately, it is impossible – you can somewhat improve your writing if you follow certain tips and avoid mistakes that are pointed out to you, but real progress is only possible if you write and keep on writing. Not only in school and college, but on your own as well. The more practice you get, the better.
Analyze the Writing You Like
Most people have favorite writers or at least content authors or bloggers whom they read regularly. However, very few people take a pause and think why exactly they like what they like. This means that if you do so, you are going to get an advantage. Take a few excerpts of your favorite author’s work and start analyzing.
Pay attention to anything that you particularly like: words turns of phrase, entire paragraphs, masterful transitions between seemingly unrelated points – anything that catches your attention. Look for common patterns in your favorite reading, methods, and techniques you can apply in your own work.
Always Use Outlines
Students often dislike using outlines because preparing them takes time, and students are usually in a hurry to complete their work and move on to the next task. However, it is a rather misguided sentiment, as creating an outline actually decreases the overall amount of time you spend on a piece of writing. It may take you a few minutes in the beginning, but it will save you several times as much later on.
Having an outline means you will not have to waste time when you suddenly remember that you forgot to mention a vital point and now have to rewrite a few paragraphs so that it fits in, or repeated the same point twice, or forgot to introduce a crucial piece of evidence. In addition, regular use of outlines teaches you planning and organization.
Accept That First Drafts Are Usually Bad
Many students completely misunderstand the role of the first draft they write. They try to produce a complete piece of writing at the first attempt. As a result, they constantly backtrack to correct a word or rewrite a sentence, often losing their train of thought in the process.
Their wish is to have a complete essay by the time they finish it – something they can submit right away. It is a flawed approach. You should realize that the quality of first drafts usually leaves much to be desired, and treat them accordingly. Do not try to make them perfect.
You may even forgo the rules of grammar if it makes it easier for you to express your ideas because it is exactly the purpose of a first draft – to get your thoughts on paper. You will be able to clean it all up later, because writing is, by definition, an iterative process. Be ready to go rewrite at least some parts of your paper a few times before it achieves a satisfactory state.
You can improve your writing skills in a variety of ways. However, remember – to truly become better, you have to apply real effort and do it regularly. The sooner you begin, the better.
Robert Gomez was born and raised in the Bronx, New York. He currently lives in Northern California with “the wifey,” “the kids,” “the dog,” and “that cat,” 🙁 He is also a former journalist who has interviewed murderers on death row. Felonyfriendlyjobs.org was born to help ex-felons get a second chance in life.