Throughout school you are taught grammar rules and vocabulary tools to become a good writer. Unfortunately, many of us haven’t learned how to combine these skills in an effective way. This is particularly intimidating for those who are about to head to college since you will be required to turn in many writing assignments.
Becoming a good writer does not happen overnight. However, the good news is that since writing is a process, there are ways to improve.
College writing requires you to adjust your style for your audience and subject. You should always make sure you understand the purpose of your writing and who your audience is. Depending on the assignment, you may need to collect data, research, or interview people. Brainstorming ideas with your professor or other students may be helpful.
Once you have background information, you need to organize your writing. Creating an outline is a great way to organize your thoughts and keep your paper “on track.” If you created a detailed outline, you can refer back to it to make sure you include all your important points. The structure of your paper may vary, but most papers require an introduction, a body, and a conclusion.
No matter what your topic, you need to communicate your point in an intelligent and straightforward way. “Big” words and complicated sentence structure do not improve your paper if the reader cannot understand your point. While fixing grammar mistakes is important, you should fix structural errors before working on grammar issues. It may take several drafts before your point is clear and presented in a way in which your audience understands.
During the editing process, taking a break and returning in an hour or even a few days later may help you find errors that you did not see before. Reading your paper out loud or from the end to the beginning are other ways that can help you find mistakes, inconsistencies, or illogical arguments.