Academic writing is an essential skill for college success, but one that does not come naturally to a majority of students. When it comes to writing, students often arrive on campus ill-prepared for the rigors of college-level essay writing. One of the reasons for this is that high schools increasingly “teach to the test” rather than teach preparatory writing skills because they are constrained by the demands for increasing accountability and results-oriented teaching.
But with a lack of college-level writing skills, a majority of incoming first-year students are now shunted into remedial or introductory writing courses to build the skills that they don’t already have. At a majority of campuses, a majority of incoming freshmen are required to take remedial or basic writing courses, and on many campuses that number can approach two-thirds.
As a result, many students are looking for ways to improve their academic writing skills without needing to hire professional help from a custom academic essay writing service like Smart Writing Service. While having an online writer at the ready to do papers for you can certainly help, having the skills to do your own writing can make college essays and academic projects faster, easier, and more effective.
Top Ways to Improve Your College Writing Skills
In this article, we’ll look at ten ways you can improve your academic writing skills in college to create winning essays and papers assigned by your professor.
Become a voracious reader.
The best way to become a great writer is to become a great reader. The more that you read and the more variety that you read, the more you will pick up on the different rhythms and approaches to language used by great writers. It’s a good idea to read widely, and not just in your major, in order to learn how the best writers approach a variety of subjects. As you learn how they write, you’ll start to see your own writing improve, too.
Read the assignment carefully.
One of the most important ways to improve your college writing skills is to make sure you are responding correctly to the essay question. In order to do this, you should be sure that you read the question carefully. Don’t just rely on an oral summary your instructor may give you. You want to be sure you understand each part of the assignment and have included all necessary components in order to maximize your grade.
Review the rubric before you write.
The grading rubrics that many instructors use are basically a guide to the right way to write the paper. It will show you exactly how your instructor will grade your paper and what your instructor will be looking for and judging you on as they review your work. You can use the rubric as a “hack” to reverse-engineer the essay and make sure that you hit all of the points that your instructor will be grading you on as you create your paper.
Make friends with your library.
Your college library is an exceptional source for research materials for your academic essays. College papers should use college-level and scholarly sources, and the best place to find them is in the academic databases your library gives you access to for free. These resources aren’t available on the open web, and peer-reviewed research will make your paper that much stronger.
Spend time on your thesis statement.
Your thesis statement tells your reader what your paper will demonstrate or prove. The more that you work on your thesis and the stronger it is, the better your paper will be because a thesis statement will guide your paper as you develop its main ideas and supporting details.
Outline before you write.
The easiest way to make your paper more likely to be a success is to plan ahead before you write. Using an outline is a great way to work out the challenges of your essay before you start to write so you can solve the problems quickly, plan out what to write in each paragraph, and organize your thoughts and your evidence before you start typing your paper. That way, you won’t have to start and stop as you write. This will save you time and also make your writing more fluid as you move through the paper.
Save the introduction for last.
It’s a good idea to save the introduction to the essay for last because writing it is often the most difficult part of the essay. When you save it to write last, you’ll be able to take advantage of the conclusion that you develop to help guide you in selecting the most effective opening strategy to set the reader up for that conclusion.
Remember to proofread.
After you’ve finished drafting your paper, your job isn’t done. It’s important that you proofread your paper carefully to catch any lingering errors. Proofreading can make all the difference when it comes to creating a great impression on your readers.
Write when you are most alert.
Many students write late into the night because of their busy and active lives, but this makes it harder to write quality papers. Set aside time when you are freshest, typically late morning, and you’ll write better and faster.
When you set aside writing time, turn off notifications and put away your devices. When you focus solely on your writing, you’ll produce better papers and also work through your papers faster.
We hope you have just found our tips and ways useful and you will do your best to improve your academic writing skills in the way you like most.