The following blog post is about how to improve your essay-writing skills.
It will give you some of the most important things you need to know to be a better writer. These are all of the basics that any student should know, but surprisingly few people do. I hope this article helps!
Table of Contents
1) Use strong verbs and avoid weak verbs:
Strong verbs convey action or movement, while weak verbs show states of being or static conditions. For example “He ran” versus “He walked.” You’ll want to use more active language when possible so as not to bore your reader with boring sentences like “I was walking down the street.” A stronger sentence would read “I was walking down the street when I saw my friend.” Avoid words like “is, was, are” when possible.
2) Write in the active voice:
Active verbs once again will not bore your reader with dull or passive verbs. For example; “I walked down the street” versus “I was walked down the street by my friend.” The first sentence is written in an active voice while the second sentence is written in a passive voice. It’s best to stick with strong action verbs and avoid using weak states of being verbs. There are times when it might be more useful to use a state of being verb because you don’t want to focus on who is doing an action (you may be describing scenery for example), but make sure that if you do use one that it’s paired with a strong verb like “I was amazed by the scenery.”
3) Avoid repeating words:
This is very often overlooked by students, but it’s one of the most important aspects of good writing. When you find yourself saying the same word over and over again (especially when describing someone or something), try to replace that word with another word that means more or less the same thing. For example; “He looks really smart in his glasses” versus “He looks intelligent in his spectacles.”
4) Use transitional words to help your reader follow along:
Transitional words are great for helping connect ideas logically in an essay without having to write out so much explanation. Examples of transitional words are, therefore, consequently, similarly, etcetera. These words are often used for flow and organization, but they also help your reader follow along.
5) Avoid clichés:
Clichés should be left in the past where they belong. They’re not only lazy but usually don’t convey any real information. It’s best to write an original sentence than it is to use one of these phrases.
6) Vary your sentence structure:
If all of your sentences are the same length and take up the same amount of time to read (i.e. short or long sentences), you’ll bore the reader by using the same pattern over and over again throughout your essay (not to mention that this will make you look like a beginner). Varying your sentence structure helps keep things interesting.
7) Use strong vocabulary:
The stronger your vocabulary, the better chance you have of conveying what you are trying to say. What you should avoid are words that don’t convey much meaning or are really basic English words (i.e. nice, pretty, smart). A good way to improve your writing is by reading books and articles from experts in the field which you want/need to write about and making a list of new and interesting words they use. Then try to use those words in your writing whenever possible! This will make your essay unique and help with word choice greatly when it comes time for revision (or when proofreading).
8) Organize your essay:
You don’t want to lose sight of the main ideas in your essay. Make sure you’ve developed each idea with good supporting examples and make sure the conclusion ties everything together for a solid ending or summary of what you’ve written about. Another important thing to do is, after writing your rough draft (which should be messy), go back and edit/revise it so that it’s in proper format (i.e. paragraphs, sentences placed in order).
9) Watch out for grammar mistakes:
Grammar can be tricky because there are many rules involved when writing an essay (and some rules apply more than others depending on the type of essay). A great tip I can give is to read your work backward! This is one of the best ways to find any errors. Also if you have someone read it and then check it for grammar errors after, you’ll find that person will catch mistakes that you might have missed.
10) Get someone else to read your essay :
Every writer knows that it’s good to have other people help edit your writing because you are too close to the piece at hand. You can avoid any of these mistakes if you ask a fellow student, friend, or teacher who is savvy with English grammar and mechanics. They’ll make sure all of your t’s are crossed and i’s are dotted!
11) Analyze and Organize your essay:
After you’ve completed your rough draft, go back and read it carefully. Try to find commonalities in how you are expressing ideas. For example, does every paragraph contain the same types of details? Is there a pattern in what words you use? Can you group or categorize similar ideas together into one paragraph or idea? This step is very important because if done correctly, it can help you strengthen any weak points in your essay while cutting out unnecessary information.
12) Support everything with evidence:
You should avoid making statements without backing them up with good sources (be they examples, statistics, quotes from experts, etc.). Also, try to include things that are new and haven’t been talked about already. It’s good to find a different angle that hasn’t been explored to death before.
13) Make a note of quotes you use:
If you’re going to quote someone, whether it’s from a book, website, article, etc., make sure you have the proper citation (this will help your GPA and make your teacher happy). If you quote something, but the words inside quotation marks and be sure to include their name at the end of the sentence; for example: ” According to Steve Martin ‘Focusing on small details can cause people not to notice larger patterns or connections (20).” It’s good practice because if you don’t explain where your information comes from properly and thoroughly enough, readers might think that everything in your essay is yours and not the real person/author.
14) Pace your essay:
If you’re writing an informative piece, make sure you’ve explained the idea thoroughly enough before moving on to the next paragraph or idea. This is especially important if your essay covers multiple ideas or concepts. You don’t want to be stuck explaining one thing for pages at a time! Readers are interested in variety and new information so think of ways you can get around this problem by either changing up how you explain things or organizing information into chunks that can flow together nicely. For example, maybe you have three different types of evidence that goes with three different supporting points about topic A, B, and C which all have their relevance towards each other. Organizing these points into separate paragraphs with transitions between them will help your reader stay interested.
15) Editing is key:
Sometimes when you are writing, the words just seem to flow out of your head and onto the computer screen. However, this isn’t always a good thing! If you’re in a big hurry to get started then try not to skip over editing altogether because that’s where most of your work will be done. You might even find that taking breaks is best especially if you have writer’s block. Try working on another subject during these times so when it does come time for you to revise, getting back into what you were writing sounds less stressful than before.
16) Develop the Conclusion:
A good essay is like a good short story in that it has a beginning, middle, and end. The main difference is that you don’t want to leave your reader in the dark when they’re done reading; rather, you want them to feel satisfied and inspired by what they’ve just experienced (which would be your writing). A strong conclusion leaves readers feeling happy and fulfilled when thinking back on what they’ve read. Your goal at this point is to summarize your ideas but also add something new like an interesting question/idea the reader might enjoy mulling over for a while.
17) Remind yourself of your purpose:
Writing can take time so if after a while you forget why you even started then don’t worry because most writers go through this phase. However, if you start losing interest, don’t be afraid to take a break and come back refreshed! You should always remember why you started writing in the first place so if your essay is supposed to be informative then you must stay on track making sure every point you make shows how it relates across the board with everything you’ve already established.
18) Get feedback from fellow students :
If at all possible, try finding at least one person who is either the same age as you or someone you can trust; this could be a classmate, sibling, parent, etc. Ask them if they’ll read over your draft and give you some feedback on what they think about it. Sometimes hearing what other people think of your work can help open up new ideas, strengthen weak points in your essay and even point out mistakes that you originally missed.
19) Have fun!:
After all of the hard work, stress, and holding back tears (or rage) relax by leaving your assignment alone for at least an hour or two (the more time away from it the better!). If possible try taking a break outside if it’s sunny or somewhere nearby if not. Take deep breaths and try not to think about it right away; go for a walk or something that will help you clear your mind. Doing this will give you room for new ideas to come through and help the essay feel less intimidating.
Good luck with all of your assignments! And remember, school is one of those things you’ll never regret putting time into so put in as much effort as possible.
How to improve writing skills in English for students
More and more people are learning English, but it’s not always the easiest language to learn. The grammar is complicated, there are so many idioms, and if you come from a different culture than an Anglo-Saxon country, you might have trouble understanding certain words or phrases.
With so many hurdles in place for learners of English as a second language, it can be difficult to find good materials that teach ESL students how to write essays in their new language.
However, we offer some tips on how students can improve their writing skills in English.
1) Read as much as you can:
The more you read, the better your writing skills will become. Not only does this improve your vocabulary but it also helps you to develop your style and tone.
2) Write every day:
This is one of the best ways to improve your writing skills. The more you write, the easier it becomes and the better your grammar and spelling will be.
3) Take notes in class:
If you take good notes, you’ll be able to use them later when you’re writing essays or papers. This also helps to ensure that you don’t miss anything important during class.
4) Use a dictionary:
Whenever you come across a word that you don’t know, look it up. This will help you gain a better understanding of the words that you’re using and give you ideas for writing down your thoughts.
5) Review your notes:
Even if you did take good notes in class, there’s always a chance that something might have slipped past you or wasn’t taken down correctly, to begin with. Reviewing your notes after each class helps to prevent this from happening.
6) Practice writing essays:
Writing an essay doesn’t come naturally to everyone so practicing can help prepare you for when it comes time to write the real thing. It also lets you work on any weaknesses that might exist in your writing skills while offering suggestions that maybe weren’t mentioned in class.
7) Try reading your essay out loud:
Reading your work aloud helps you to catch mistakes that you might not have noticed earlier on. This also helps give you an idea of how easy or difficult it will be for others to read and understand what you’ve written.
8) Read the text before writing an essay:
Before starting any type of paper, make sure that you’ve read through the text at least once. If there are large sections (or even smaller ones) that seem confusing, it’s a good idea to go back and reread them first so they make sense when you write about them later. That way if your teacher asks questions, odds are that it won be something that you didn’t understand or didn’t read properly.
9) Get enough sleep:
Getting enough sleep helps your brain function properly and enables you to think critically about what you’re writing. As such, this is one of the most important things you can do to improve your writing skills.
10) Enjoy yourself:
Writing might not be for everyone but there’s no reason why it can’t still be fun. If you don’t enjoy it, chances are that it’s going to show through in whatever essay or paper you write which will reflect poorly on your grade even if the content is correct from a technical standpoint. So have some fun with what you’re doing! It’ll make the work seem less daunting and help get rid of any writer’s block you might potentially face.
How will you improve your academic writing skills?
Academic writing is a significant part of the educational process. It doesn’t matter how well you can communicate in person or through social media, if it isn’t reflected in your academic work, then you are not considered an effective communicator. If this sounds like you, then take some time to read through these tips for improving your academic writing skills.
Here are the best tips for How will you improve your academic writing skills
1. Read academic writing samples to get a better understanding of the conventions of the genre.
2. Make a list of common words and phrases that are used in academic writing and make sure to use them in your writing.
3. Become familiar with the structure of an academic essay and make sure to use it in your writing.
4. Use active and concrete verbs in your writing to help make your argument more understandable.
5. Make sure that all of your sources are properly cited using the appropriate citations style.
6. Proofread your work multiple times to make sure that there are no errors.
7. Ask someone else to proofread your work for you to get another set of eyes on it.
8. Make sure to use the appropriate writing tense for your topic and general writing purpose.
9. Use numbers in academic writing when presenting research data and statistics.
10. Don’t forget to have fun with your writing!
How will your knowledge in academic writing help you as a student?
Here are some tips for you about how my knowledge in academic writing will help me as a student:
1) Read the assignment carefully and follow all instructions to provide a high-quality paper
2) Keep in mind professors often want essays to be in a certain format and with specific requirements and expectations
3) If you don’t know what you’re doing, ask for help! This isn’t an admission of failure, but rather an acknowledgment that we’re all human and sometimes we need a little extra help.
4) Don’t rely on a spell checker, most professors will notice if you don’t use proper punctuation or fail to follow the writing guide
5) Proofread your work! Many students forget to do this and then give their professor a reason to knock points off for handing in an assignment with too many errors
6) Try applying what you’ve learned in the classroom to your assignments in real life. Making connections between course material and outside knowledge can help you retain information better
7) Create a schedule for completing writing tasks so that you don’t have an assignment due every other day, but also so that work doesn’t pile up all at once.
My knowledge in academic writing will help me as a student because I know the format of an assignment, have no fear to ask for help, apply my learning in real-life situations by writing my tasks with everything that is needed.
My academic writing experience will assist me not just in my role as a student, but also in my future career. I know how to meet tight deadlines, follow instructions, find relevant research material, etc., which will be essential skills when I’m working full time. Academic writing may seem tedious yet it is mandatory if one wants to succeed in this competitive world. It’s never too early or too late to start developing these skills!