When it comes to improving your writing, quantity is almost as helpful as quality (Image via Sun Innovation)

How to Boost Your Writing Skills When You’re in College

Unfortunately, texting doesn’t count as essay prep.

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When it comes to improving your writing, quantity is almost as helpful as quality (Image via Sun Innovation)

Unfortunately, texting doesn’t count as essay prep.

If there is ever a time that you will learn about writing and crafting essays and papers, it is when you are in college. This is, mainly, thanks to the high volume of essays and papers that you will be writing for your classes.

However, this doesn’t mean that these writing tips come to you naturally. Some of these skills need to be learned. In this article, we are going to look at some tips for great college essay writing so that you can ace your next writing assignment.

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1. Practice Your Writing

The first thing that you need to know is that these skills will take a practice. The first paper you sit down to write won’t be the best paper you’ve ever written. However, with time, you can craft quality papers almost every time that you sit down to write.

Most sources will suggest that you take a little time to write everyday. This means that you have to work outside of just the assignments your professors give you. It doesn’t have to be a lot of writing either.

For example, you can keep a daily journal in which you only write a couple hundred words a day. Even this will help to increase your skills incrementally.

2. Plan Accordingly

Another thing that is important to your writing is making sure that you have the time to actually sit down and write properly. This means that you need to plan your time so that you have more than just the night before a deadline to craft your essay.

You should also plan your paper before you start writing. While sitting down and just starting to write can have its benefits, if you are writing an essay, such as a research paper or academic paper, it is best to have some sort of outline before you start. This helps to keep you from rambling and helps you to keep your writing properly organized.

3. Remember Your Audience

Plan according to whom you are writing for. For example, the tone that you might take to write a research paper for your technical copy class won’t be the same as that short story for your creative writing class.

To maintain your audience’s interest, it’s important that you write in a way that is catered to them.

4. Research Effectively

For your papers, it is important that you relay accurate information. This is especially crucial when it comes to research and academic papers but accuracy shouldn’t be completely forgotten in creative writing either.

To make sure that you get the best and most accurate information, you are going to want to familiarize yourself with the best ways to utilize search engines and databases.

5. Know Different Styles of Writing

One thing that you will learn in college is that there are different styles for different situations. To name the most popular, there is MLA format and APA format.

To cater academic papers to their respective professional audiences, you should familiarize yourself with these styles.

6. Make Sure to Proofread and Edit

Once you finish writing a paper, you aren’t done yet. You never want to turn a paper in without proofreading and editing it.

Not only is it important to keep yourself familiarized with grammar rules and be able to look at your writing with a critical eye, you also don’t want to lose points on your assignment because you forgot a comma. You can even get a friend to proofread to get a fresh set of eyes if needed.

Proofreading and editing are essential components of the writing process, not add-ons (Image via Hydro Credit Union)

If you have trouble with grammar rules, though, there are resources that you can use to help keep your work on track. One of the most popular examples is the service Grammarly, which works like an advanced spell check to check your grammar and spelling.

7. Don’t Be Afraid of Second Drafts

When you sit down to write, the first thing that you come up with may not be perfection. However, this doesn’t mean that you should give up hope. Writing is a process that is done in steps. You won’t always like your first draft and that’s okay — you can always write another.

In fact, you should probably write more than one draft. This way you can improve on your ideas and how you convey them as you go. With each draft, you will improve until you end up with a product that you are happy with.

8. Pay Attention to Critiques

When you get into college, all the essays can be a little intimidating. However, it provides you with a fantastic opportunity.

In college, you get the chance to write often with specific critique of your work given to you by your professors, letting you know where to improve and where you truly nailed your writing.

It’s important to pay attention to these critiques and take them into account when you are writing in the future.

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