There’s no avoiding it; being in college will require you to use your writing skills almost every day. This can be particularly challenging if you are an international student and English is your second language. Luckily, there are some simple steps you can take to improve the quality of your writing. Here are our top five tips:
Reading is a great way to find out what it is that makes a story or article informative and engaging. The more you expose yourself to great writing, the more you will be able to incorporate more great things into your work. If you’re feeling particularly ambitious, you can even take the time to highlight sections that could be useful for you to reference later. This technique can help you improve your spelling and increase your vocabulary.
Write Every Day
Another great daily practice is to write as often as you can. This doesn’t mean you need to work on essays every day. Something as simple as a short journal entry can still help you to become a better writer over time.
Have Someone Proofread Your Work
It can be somewhat nerve-wracking to have someone else to read your writing, but it is worth it. Sometimes when we have been working on something for a while, we become stuck and have a hard time seeing it from an outside perspective. If you allow someone else to proofread, they may catch errors that you may not otherwise have seen. Think about it this way: your instructor will be reading it eventually anyway!
Use an Outline
It’s difficult to dive right into something like an essay without having a framework of what you will be writing about beforehand. You should have more than just a topic established before getting started. Once you have done some research and collected notes, see if you can divide the information into a clear introduction, main body and conclusion. Think about how each topic will transition into the other. An outline will help to guide you as you write and make things seem less overwhelming when you are getting started.
Be Clear and Concise
During a conversation, it’s common to begin discussing one subject and end up talking about something completely different. In academic writing, this needs to be avoided. We often write like we think, and it is normal to sometimes go off track and use more words than necessary. While you should be aware of clarity and conciseness as you write, but this will be mostly taken care of when editing afterwards. Again, having someone proofread your work will be beneficial in making sure your writing is focused and to the point.