Tips to Improve Your Writing Skills
If the thought of an impending writing assignment has your stomach churning with anxiety, take a deep breath and peruse our tips to help make the task a lot less painful.
- Practice makes...well, maybe not perfect, but it definitely makes a difference. Few become competent writers without spending time putting pen to paper or fingers to the keyboard. You might even consider doing some writing outside of the classroom. Writing in a journal can help you clear your head and reflect on the events of the day.
- Write something! In academia, few sights are more intimidating than a blinking cursor on a clean Word document. It's tempting to mull over your words and wait until they’re perfect in your head before you commit them to the page, but resist the urge. If you have nothing in the document, you have nothing to tweak. Don't worry about each word being perfect right now. You can always organize your thoughts in a cohesive way later.
- Have fun with your assignments. If you're already dreading a writing assignment, picking a topic that doesn't interest you will only exacerbate the problem. While you don't always have complete control over choosing your topic, you can often find ways to incorporate anecdotes from your own experiences into the piece.
- Don't forget to read! In order to feel more comfortable in your relationship with the written word, it helps to read as much as you can. This includes not only your assigned class readings, but novels, magazines, newspapers, blogs, or anything else that interests you. Exposure to a wide variety of writing styles can give you ideas that you might incorporate into your own writing, and it can also help you improve your vocabulary.