Since the start of the semester, I’ve had to write a handful of papers, and I haven’t been happy with my results. Writing is one of my weakest skills, and I’m hoping to change that so that I can improve my grades and get more out of my classes. What’s the best way to strengthen my writing skills?
It’s certainly an asset to have strong writing skills when you’re in college. Virtually every class you take will require you to write a paper at some point. Most will require you to write multiple papers.
Ultimately, the best way to strengthen your writing skills is to practice. Write more and read more. Reading will give you inspiration and ideas on how to improve your vocabulary and style. Practicing writing will help you feel more confident and naturally improve your skills.
When writing essays, it’s important to first start with an idea. Choose a topic that’s suitable for the assignment, and create an outline to start.
It may be tempting to skip the outline step, but it’s actually one of the most important steps in the writing process. An outline will give you structure and direction, which will improve your essay’s flow and organization.
An outline should include:
- Introductory paragraph along with your thesis statement and opening statement.
- Body paragraphs, which will encompass your argument.
- Concluding paragraph, which will reiterate your thesis statement and include your closing argument.
Creating an outline is important, but what about the writing itself? A good essay is backed by good research and includes thoughtful analysis of the argument. It’s important to choose credible resources, such as journal articles, peer-reviewed papers and research papers. These resources will serve as evidence to back up your claims or argument.
It’s important to understand the basics of grammar when writing an essay, but focusing on the argument and how you present the argument is equally important. It’s great to have a big vocabulary, but it’s not always necessary to use big, flashy words, especially if you’re unfamiliar with them. You can use a paraphrasing tool to get some ideas on how to change up your sentences or incorporate new words into your essays.
Keep your audience in mind when writing your essay, and base your style on that. Depending on your audience, you may not need to be overly formal in your language, but it’s still important to make sure that you maintain a professional tone.
When writing your introductory paragraph, it’s important to get the reader’s attention and to hold that attention by using compelling arguments and statements. The body paragraphs should be where you make your argument and incorporate your research. When you get to the concluding paragraph, make sure that you find a way to tie it into your intro paragraph.
While you may want to reiterate some of your points, you don’t want your conclusion to simply be a summary of your intro and body paragraphs. Conclude your argument in a thoughtful way to encourage your readers to think more on the subject.