Many entering college freshman lack the writing skills necessary to succeed at the post-secondary level. If high school didn’t prepare you for the writing requirements of college, you may feel overwhelmed and frustrated when essays and papers are assigned. While it will be a challenge to catch up to your peers who received better preparation, it’s possible to significantly improve your writing skills as a college student. A few tips to help you become a better writer:
Visit Your Campus Writing Center
Almost every university has a campus writing center. If you need to hone your writing ability, your campus writing center is the first stop. You can get feedback on your work, tutoring, and access to other resources. Your college English department or writing center website may also offer resources online to help you learn better grammar and sentence structure.
Read Every Day
Reading will actually help improve your writing skills because you’ll subconsciously pick up on grammar and sentence structure as you read. If you don’t like to read, try a short book or even just a magazine article about something you enjoy. Make it a point to read something every day, whether it’s a newspaper, magazine article or book chapter.
Practice makes perfect when it comes to most activities, and writing is no exception. Start to practice your writing by finding essay or paper topics and writing as if you were preparing an assignment for class. Keeping a journal or diary is another way to practice writing. Although writing in a journal is less formal, it will help you become more comfortable with writing in general.
Ask for Critiques
Seek out experienced writers and ask for critiques on your work, whether it’s practice writing or school assignments. You may choose to visit a professor during office hours or ask for feedback at your campus writing center. It isn’t easy to receive criticism, but it will save you a lot of struggles in the long run.
Take an Introductory or Remedial Writing Course
If you’re worried that you won’t have the self-discipline to improve your writing skills on your own, a writing class is the perfect option. Colleges usually offer introductory writing courses, so take advantage of the opportunity to improve your skills in a structured environment. If your university doesn’t offer such a class, research course offerings at local community colleges.