Writing is one of the most essential skills that a student will develop throughout a college career, but it is also one of the most challenging skills for students to master. Because it can be so challenging to become a master of the complicated specifics of academic writing, many students look for ways to improve or develop their writing skills.
But far too often, it can be confusing to sort through all of the conflicting advice about how to become a better writer. In this article, we’ll look at some of the ways that you can improve your writing skills to master the art of academic writing and improve your essay grades and your academic standing.
Why Do Students Need Better Writing Skills?
Historically, students came to college or university prepared for college-level writing. However, over the past couple of decades, the number of students who arrive needing remedial writing help has increased dramatically. Today, most students arriving on campus are required to take either remedial or introductory college writing. Why is that? In considerable measure, it is because secondary schools no longer teach the writing skills expected at the college level. After all, high schools have had to focus on standardized testing and basic composition skills.
When students don’t arrive on campus with the expected level of writing skills, it can make it harder for them to complete their courses, limit their understanding of the material, and negatively impact their grades. As a result, students often look for ways to grow their college writing skills.
How to Grow Your Writing Skills
The first and most important way to grow your writing skills would be to take a college course in academic writing. Most colleges and universities offer courses either for credit or non-credit, in which you will be trained to write in a literary style. In these courses, you’ll learn the basics of research, composition, formatting, and citing in major academic styles like APA, MLA, Chicago, etc.
Studying academic writing in an academic setting can be beneficial because you will develop skills in a structured way and benefit from the instructor’s assistance, who is an expert in academic writing and has the skills and knowledge to help you grow as a researcher and a writer.
However, taking a course in academic writing may not be feasible for every student, and in some cases, it may not be enough to develop your academic writing skills. In such cases, there are other ways to help build your writing skills. Let’s go over a few.
Effective Ways to Develop Your Writing Skills
The best way to become a better writer is to become a better reader. Read a lot. The more material you read, the more you will gather a deeper understanding of the rhythms of writing, the patterns of language, and the choices writers make in creating excellent writing.
Any kind of reading will help, but the more you read high-quality essays, scholarly work, and nonfiction books, the more you will understand how great writers put together effective nonfiction. For example, each year, there is a series of books published collecting the best essays on various subjects. Reading the best writing on topics of interest to you can be beneficial.
It is beneficial to also develop your library research skills. After all, the best writing relies heavily on facts and evidence to have something to write about. When you are able to use your college or university library effectively, you’ll have better research to rely on as you put together your paper. Many colleges and universities offer seminars or workshops in writing. Your library’s librarians are always happy to help you develop your research skills and assist you in researching an essay topic.
It is a good idea to familiarize yourself with the formatting and style requirements used in college essays. How an essay looks can influence how your instructor grades it, and you want to make sure that you are communicating that you know how academic papers are supposed to be presented. You also want to make sure that your research is documented correctly to avoid any problems with plagiarism and to clearly give credit to your sources.
You will likely find that outlining before you start writing is an effective way to improve the quality of your essays. When you take some time to begin the writing process with an outline, you can plan out how the article should be structured and the evidence that you will use to support each point. The more effort you put into structuring the paper before you begin writing, the stronger the paper will be.
Finally, you can pay someone to write college essays for you. When you contact an online service to say, “I need to hire experts who can write my paper for me,” a professional writer will do your writing for you so you can see the right way to approach any essay. By reading a paper written specifically for your needs, you can better understand the right way to develop your essay and develop your writing skills by having a professional demonstrate the skills you need to show in your own paper, making it easier to achieve your academic goals.