writing skills

writing skills

How to Become a Better Writer

write-a-better-paperWhile test-taking is a major part of university life, it’s not a skill that translates directly into real-world applications. Writing, however, is an ability that students will need for almost any career. We all know that good grammar and spelling are important, but it takes a lot more to produce a well-crafted paper.

1. Give yourself time.
Many students say they work better under pressure, but when it comes to writing, this is rarely true. Sure, you may produce a paper faster at the last minute, but it’s rare that the quality will be higher. Students may feel it’s easier to churn something out at the last minute because they don’t have time to think critically or to doubt their arguments. Start your paper early, and revisit it over several days. Writing takes practice, and that means making a real investment of your time. In an ideal world, students would work at writing every day—like practicing a sport.

2. Make writing your top priority.

If you have a paper to write, put it on the top of your to-do list. Writing is hard work, so you should do it during the part of the day when you are the most productive and the most alert.

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Essay Writing Wizard iPhone App is a Must-Have for Students

iphone Essay Writing WizardiTunes has released a new app for iPhones and iPod Touches: the Essay Writing Wizard. The EWW helps students write essays faster and easier, anywhere they can take their iPhone or iPod.

EWW was created by The Niles Technology Group with the goal of transforming iPhone or iPod from just an organizational tool to one that allows students to create and develop new ideas.

The Essay Writing Wizard offers many different editions, including editions designed specifically for college students, community college students, and field-specific programs. The following is a list of the most commonly used application editions that are available: Read the rest of this entry »

Writing Skills are Important Preparation for College

Are you a high school student thinking about what classes will be most helpful for college, or a returning adult student wondering what skills you should practice before you go back? Here’s something many students don’t realize: college students need to know how to write, and how to write very well. In my experience, it sure seems like high schools are failing students terribly when it comes to teaching them how to write.

Unfortunately, many high school students simply are not being prepared nearly well enough in the crucial area of writing skills. There’s often a huge gap in what professors expect students to know how to do in terms of writing, and in what students actually do know how to do. This results in low grades, frustrated students, and frustrated instructors. It also results in many students falling through the cracks and never learning how to write well enough, which can be an enormous disadvantage when it’s time to get a job.

pencilWhen I was a professor, the level of writing exhibited by many of my students was incredibly frustrating. In my experience, here are some of the elements of writing instructors expect students to understand that they do not:

  • How to use punctuation properly—especially commas
  • How to use proper nouns properly
  • How to write and use a thesis statement
  • How to organize a paper in a way that makes the information easy to understand and easy to follow
  • How to write a bibliography
  • How to follow a style guide (APA, MLA, etc.) and cite information correctly throughout the text of a paper
  • How to cite information in a way that doesn’t unintentionally plagiarize
  • How to back up claims made throughout the paper with evidence
  • How to write a strong paper introduction
  • How to do research for papers that doesn’t exclusively involve the Internet

So, if you’re a high school student, how do you obtain the skills you need to write well enough for college? One thing you can do is to take all the writing classes you can in high school with teachers who have a good reputation for knowing how to teach writing. If you’re not doing well in these classes, meet with the teachers for extra help. If Advanced Placement English is available in your high school, consider taking it, even if English really isn’t your thing. Hands down, AP English was the best class I took in high school, and it prepared me well for college level writing.

If you’re a returning student, how can you prepare? If your writing skills aren’t as strong as you think they should be, consider taking a remedial class at a community college before officially enrolling as a student.

For all students, here’s one thing you can do to help you become a better writer: read, and read often! Many of the skills needed in writing come intrinsically as you immerse yourself in language.

Also Read:

How to Become a Better Writer


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