Academic writing is an integral part of our education. This is even truer for high school and college students who often submit endless assignments and essays on various subjects. Writing is hard enough without the added stress of knowing you will be graded for it and that it will make or break your GPA. Do not fret – we have listed the five best ways to develop writing skills in students.
Read On to Know How Students Can Improve Their Writing Skills:
1. Practice Deliberately
As the saying goes, practice makes perfect. The more you practice your writing, the better it will get. First, you need to determine what your writing weaknesses are so that you identify areas of improvement. Once you have figured out what you need to work on, you can improve it. Please do some research about good writers and practice their writing techniques. You can start with the simpler ones and move on to the more specialized courses. Also, pick a specific writing technique and practice it until you feel confident in your ability to apply it. Remember to challenge yourself all the time. As Lauren Bradshaw from Custom Writings says, “There is no growth in the comfort zone. Always strive to push your limits without putting yourself and your accomplishments down.”
Write as much as you can about anything you are interested in. It might also be helpful to keep a journal. Journaling is a great way to practice your writing because it allows you to write without worry about getting a bad grade. Feel free to re-write some of your old work and compare the difference; you will be surprised to learn that a bit of practice goes a long way?
As you practice, do not shy away from seeking help. As you get more comfortable with your writing, ask your friends and family to read and review some of your writing. Of course, you must be open to receiving feedback so that you get their honest opinion.
2. Keep It Simple
It is easy to get tempted to use bombastic words and phrases to embellish your writing, but this will not do you any justice in an academic setting. You could easily misuse a word or phrase. Use simple words and avoid complex terms. Try as much as you can to deliver a concise message. Describe things and avoid being too wordy. If you are unsure, start with a first draft and keep editing until you are satisfied. Simplicity in writing also means avoiding filler words. Do not use unnecessary words just for the sake of it. If a comment is not contributing to the quality of the paper – it has to go! Remember also that shorter sentences and paragraphs are ideal for maintaining your reader’s attention.
3. Plan Your Paper
It is crucial to think about your paper before you start writing it. It would help if you had a plan before you start writing. Think about who your audience is and try to connect with your reader through your writing. Write with a clear purpose, whether it is to solve a problem or achieve a particular objective. You want to make sure that your writing inspires the reader to act where necessary.
You can write an outline of your paper before you start working on it to evaluate the flow of ideas and see if you need to make any changes. Do not be discouraged if you have to change everything.
4. Pay Attention to the Structure of Your Paper
A good paper has an introduction, a body, and a paragraph. The introduction should capture the attention of the reader and leave them wanting for more. Use your introduction to captivate the reader so that they want to keep reading. Follow this up with a supporting body that delivers all you promised in the introduction. Finally, add a concluding paragraph that ties all your arguments/ideas/thoughts together like a neat bow. Remember that the body is supposed to support the introduction so that your paper appears seamless. Additionally, the conclusion summarizes the ideas discussed in the other paragraphs and should not be used to introduce any new information.
5. Improve Your Grammar and Punctuation
Grammar and punctuation are the basics of writing. You cannot write a good paper with terrible grammar as it will be hard to read or comprehend. Good grammar improves the standard of your essay and makes it stand out. Pay close attention to tense, spelling, and punctuation. The goal is to have a fluent flow of ideas from start to finish.
You can use tools such as Grammarly to improve your writing. The benefit of using Grammarly is that it is also an editing tool that will help you proofread your essay for a more polished result. Additionally, you can always seek assistance and advice from your English professor as they know a lot about writing.
Related: Best Grammarly Alternatives Free
6. Work On Your Vocabulary
One can never know too many words! Keep expanding your vocabulary through reading. Read as many books as you can and in as many fields/subjects as possible. Reading is more effective when you jot down any ideas that come up. You can also scribble down words that you do not fully understand and look them up later. If you are reading your books, feel free to underline or highlight words and phrases that you find interesting. Recognizing words is great but what is better is knowing exactly when and how to use words.
Today, there are a lot of mobile word games that are designed to help build vocabulary. Feel free to peruse through a dictionary whenever you have some time to spare. Use the new words you learn as often as possible to be engrained in your memory. Please take note of new words you hear from the people around you and learn how to use them. Do not be afraid to ask if you hear an unfamiliar word.
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Take the time to write often and proofread where you can. In the process, your ideas will flow seamlessly from one to another. No writing is ever perfect, but you are well prepared to tackle any writing subject with the skills shared above to impact your life.