I immensely struggled when writing. Taking my scrambled thoughts and uncoordinated analysis and converting it into clean and understandable words on a page was arduous. I could not express my thoughts in proper academic format. I understood the importance of writing to every subject. It was essential that I learn to condense my ideas and feeling into coherent written word. After much debate, I decided that the best way to improve my writing skills was to take an advanced English course.
Bettering your skills of writing is extremely important because writing can help you with several different aspects throughout your life. Being a good writer can help you solve problems, learn, and triumph in school and future jobs. So how do you improve your writing? Firstly start with your mental state. You have to be willing to learn and give yourself the proper amount of time and knowledge in order to do well. Secondly, use the resources around you such as your syllabus, tutors offered through your school, and online
It is essential to understand that classes taken in grade school do not give students a full understanding of each subject. With the topic of writing, there will always be a new lesson to learn, an aspect to improve, or a differing way to explain. Author Craig Vetter states in Bonehead Writing, “This is your enemy: a perfectly empty sheet of paper. Nothing will ever happen here except what you make happen.” Each story, essay, or response comes from a writer’s experiences. With each attempt at a new piece comes an underlying story of emotions the writer is facing. Each person’s writing is unique and the ideas people have are related to their past experiences and what they believe to be familiar with when deciding which writing style to use. As a high school student, I have learned many things about writing that helped me become the improved writer I am today, but the most essential advice I have received is practice makes perfect. Although there is no actual perfect way of writing, I have discovered that each essay I write, my writing improves. It is easier to spot mistakes, find areas to improve, and ponder elevated word choice to use.
Like transforming from a caterpillar to a butterfly, my writing style transformed from something mediocre to something quite exceptional. In high school, even when I took advanced placement English and Literature courses, I was never good at writing. My writing would lack structure, reasoning, syntax, and a well-defined thesis statement. My inadequate grades on writing assignments lowered my self-esteem, so I assumed I would never enjoy writing papers because I believed I could never improve. However, since attending a university my writing style has improved far beyond my expectation. My EN 101 course enhanced my understanding of the different ways I could approach my writing. Also, it enhanced my comprehension of outlines to complete assignments. Investing quality time into my writing made a substantial difference because I became a stronger writer. Through the late nights, constant revisions, and agonizing head traumas, I learned that my writing is truly spectacular whenever I incorporate well-defined thesis statements, provide sufficient supporting evidence, and maintain a clear focus in my assignments.
Being the second youngest in my family out of five children, you would think that reading would be easy for me growing up. But learning how to read was a challenge. It was something that I never thought I would be able to do without a lot of help from my father.
Writing an essay may seem like a huge obstacle to overcome, but with a plan of attack and a little organization, it can be easily completed. All it takes is seven easy steps.
Writing is different for everybody. After reading the first part of On Writing Well by William Zinsser my perspective toward writing changed; starting off by the fact that he admitted that “writing is indeed hard” (12). This author, with humorous stories and anecdotes, explained several principles that help one understand how to write efficiently. First of all, be yourself! Zinsser emphasizes the fact that you should be true to yourself and your writing in order to engage a reader in your piece. Other essential principles are: Be precise and avoid clutter. He claims that “the secret to good writing is to strip every sentence to its cleanest components” (7). As I read, I noticed how important engaging a reader becomes to an author but Zinsser reminded me how my writing was made to “please myself first” and then an audience (25). The last but not least rules to follow are: to “avoid clichés” (Zinsser, 35) and “separate usage from confusing jargon” (Zinsser, 45). It is important to maintain your reader active by expressing clear thoughts and avoiding typical sayings that only make a literary piece
One of the tips that has really helped me the when writing and improving my writing is, write your thoughts before organizing them. My mind flows when I am writing a paper or thinking about the topic and I sometimes forget to write everything down, so before I write a paper I sit down and really think about my topic, then I just write words and phrases that come to mind so that when I start my paper I have a general idea about what I want to write.
The best way to get better at something is to practice and have peers critique your style and fundamentals. As a student, I have my professor and my fellow peers to proofread and critique my writing. With these corrections I have learned I have many new strengths and weaknesses in my writing since before I started school at COTC. I have also been given many different types of resources to help improve my writing.
The first essay, the exploratory narrative, was rather difficult to write. Not content wise, but trying to figure out a way in which the essay flowed smoothly and did not sound choppy was extremely difficult. I do not think I accomplished creating a free-flowing essay with the exploratory narrative. There appears to be little to no flow from paragraph to paragraph, minus the transitional phrases, such as “furthermore”. With this essay, it is evident that I simply answered the prompt in the order the questions were asked. Some of the paragraphs were severely underdeveloped, such as the two paragraphs about the computers and cellphones. I should have expanded upon these topics more than what I did. Had I done this, it would have helped me reach the word count which, throughout the essay, it was obvious I was trying to reach. Instead
My best piece of writing for this class would be the annotated bibliography because there was a structure that I was supposed to follow, so I was more confident since I knew what to write. My writing process didn’t change much because I would write the topic sentence or a brief sentence of what I knew I wanted to talk about in a paragraph, then went back to discuss my ideas after writing down some other topic sentences. However, I did change how I edit my papers. I used to go back and edit everything on the final draft, but this time around, after every draft, I would try my best to edit at least one or two things within a paragraph.
What identifies me as a writer consist of how I work with my writing process. Basically I prepare myself with notes and additional information before I write my paper so it would not be confusing at all. I also go through multiple strategies or steps to write different papers that consist of the majority of typing, distractions, and how I concentrated. My writing process is summarized by three pictures, the first one is a computer screen with in blank besides on line, a boy distracting a girl from reading a book with an airplane, and a person driving into the sunset. These help me most of the time by getting my paper done within a few hours but that takes a lot of effort especially with what types of distractions, how focused I am and if I motivated to type.
Three strategies for improving my writing are to expand my vocabulary, proofread my work and read more than I already do. These strategies will help improve my overall quality of work. Expanding my vocabulary would be a great way to improve my writing. At this age, the majority of my writing will most likely be essays, therefore the texts I compose should be sophisticated and clear, so that I can still make my arguments, convey my ideas and get my points across in a way readers will understand.
In addition to changing the steps I take in conducting literature reviews, I have sought out resources which will assist in enhancing my writing style and language. This situation has made me take a closer look at my writing, as I am always looking for ways to become a more polished writer. As researchers we tend to speak a certain language in our writing and use similar phrases or styles. It is useful at times to have these “go to” phrases but can also leave room for inadvertent mistakes to go unnoticed. As I continue to further develop my writing style, increasing my ability to express a single perspective in multiple ways will be imperative. Tools such as the free tutorials offered by APA on style, which breaks down how to write using APA style. Although some of the resources I have come across are targeting those who may not have experience with this style of writing, I have found it useful as a refresher and/or basic reference. Going back to the basics will allow for me to ensure that I am building my writing style on a strong foundation.
Over the course of my studies at university, I have grown and learned more about academic writing and numerous writing styles. I believe there is so much room for me to master my writing skills to succeed and complete my degree and improve my academic writing and personal skills through more practice. However, I have become concerned with my first attempt submitting my piece of paper through the online test in the Writers’ Diet diagnostic tool and was labelled ‘flabby’ in my writing. Analysing my errors and referring to the textbook ’Communication Toolkit’ by Grellier and Goerke (2014), also submitting my piece of writing to Grammarly and paper rater I was able to measure my weakness in the area of sentence structure, punctuation and grammar.