Simple Ways to Improve Your Writing Skills

Writing is a central component of your academic career. It is required in the vast majority of your classes, as well as in the workforce. If you wish to increase your success as a student, consider strengthening your writing skills. Here are several simple ways to help you improve:

Communicate with purpose

All writing, whether in the form of an email or an essay, has a purpose. Ensure you can pinpoint the purpose of your document. Are you writing to entertain, to inform, to persuade—or for a different reason? The purpose of your writing will partially drive the genre and style of your composition. Always keep your end goal in mind. Here are some helpful tips for writing an essay that you may find useful as well.

Understand your audience

Just as you must write with a clear purpose, it is important to understand the audience you are addressing. Your instructor is one audience, but do others exist? Is your audience an academic community, the readers of a publication, or your peers? Knowing who will view your document is important, as you will utilize different levels of language and stylistic conventions with different readers. Before you even begin to write, think about the larger audience you are trying to reach, and keep that information in mind as you work. 

Organize your efforts

Accomplished writing, particularly academic writing, is well organized. Organization starts before you begin to draft your document, and it continues throughout the creative process. If you are writing a paper that involves research, your organizational process should start before you even begin to read. There are several simple ways to ensure your writing is well organized, including outlines, note cards, and graphic organizers. An array of graphic organizers can be found online or at your school’s academic or writing center. Verify at each step of your process that your writing is clearly organized—in a manner that will make sense to your reader. 

Revisit your composition

It is important that your writing be free of errors before you submit it to your instructor. After you are done writing, set your piece aside. Engage in a different activity for a short while. Then, return to your piece of writing and re-read it to double-check that it makes sense and is free of grammatical and spelling errors. You may find it useful to read your work out loud, as this allows you to note mistakes that you may skip over when reading silently. Be sure to run spell check on the document, but remember that certain spelling errors will not be noticed by spell check, and you must therefore carefully proofread your own writing, as well. You may also want to check out these tips to boost your writing skills. Sometimes, it can be helpful to have a family member, friend, or writing tutor review your essay or short story. After all, you will wish to submit the most polished piece of writing possible!

Keep these simple tips in mind as you improve your writing skills. By strengthening your writing skills, you will improve your chances of success as a student, as well as beyond school in future careers!