Old or young, writing is still a skill that makes a difference in your level of success in academics and life. However, in a world where tweets and texting rules, the art of writing is feeling the pinch. If you have lol’ed and btw.’ed your way through life, writing essays, letters and reports can be a challenge. Improving your writing skills can be a real asset. When you are writing reports and essays, your skill as a writer determines your ability to effectively communicate your ideas. No matter how well you know your stuff, if you are not able to effectively communicate your ideas, you will not get the grades you deserve.
Writing well not only enables you to effectively communicate, it also saves time. When you can write quickly and concisely, you have more time to spend on constructing essays and answering questions. Good writing skills will be a huge asset when you have to deal with the increased work volumes in high school and especially in college. Take a little time every day to work on your writing skills and soon you will be enjoying better grades!
Read More: The more you read, the better your spelling, vocabulary and sentence structures. Reading doesn’t have to be confined to academic texts; read whatever you find interesting. Look up words you don’t understand so you can improve your vocabulary too.
Keep It Short and Sweet: When it comes to writing, less really is more. Try to keep to one fact per sentence and write in a concise manner. While you may think that your teacher will be impressed by volume, you are sorely mistaken. Teachers have to mark many papers and those that take fewer sentences to state facts clearly will definitely come out on top!
It’s All In The Planning: Make an outline for your essay before you write it. Be sure to include an introduction and a conclusion that outline the salient points. Knowing where you are going is the best way to clear, concise writing.
Editing Helps: Once you have completed your writing task, it’s essential to edit it. If you are working on an assignment, read your piece aloud; you’ll be amazed at how different it sounds. It’s also best to edit your article the next day when you have a fresh perspective. If you are writing an exam, answer a couple of other questions and then come back to your essay and read it again.
Write First, Then Edit: This may sound intuitive, but if you have ever stared at a blank page and had no idea what to write, it means you are editing yourself before you’ve even begun. If you can talk, you can write—so just get it all down. It’s much easier to edit paragraphs you have already written than it is to edit your thoughts.
Allow Time: Waiting until the night before a paper is due to begin on it is not wise. Quality writing takes time, effort and revisions. Work on your paper well prior to the due date. Allow time for the incubation of your thoughts
Get a Tutor: if you are still struggling as a writer, you may need some help. A tutor will be able to identify which areas you need help with and give you exercises that help develop your writing skills. Learning to write well is an asset that will stand you in good stead throughout your academic and professional careers.
(Note: This post is adapted from a Tutor Doctor corporate blog titled ’6 Tips to Better Writing Skills‘ and posted on January 7, 2013