As students everywhere are approaching the school year a little faster than they all may want, it is a good time to dust off our writing samples from last year and analyze what could be done to help us grow as writers.
Setting aside the usual pet peeves that come with grammatical errors such as they’re/there/their and your/you’re, outlined below are some tips to keep your readers interested and to get your point across while writing.
- Be clear and concise. Keep your sentences simple to avoid confusion. Use only the most important details so as not to lose your reader’s interest.
- Monitor your tone. While you may have certain feelings or opinions running through your head as you are writing, be sure to stay informative. You could risk your credibility by including your personal thoughts, or worse, keep the reader guessing your mood, resulting in them completely missing your point.
- Adapt. Especially when reading online, it is crucial to keep your paragraphs shorter, and to take advantage of bullet points or headings as a way of organizing your thoughts. Also, avoid strange fonts that could be difficult to read, or fonts that are too small.
- Focus. Read your work after you have left it alone for a few hours, and then decide if you are still on topic. Try making an outline before you start writing to make sure you are staying relevant in your piece.
- Practice! The only way to really improve your writing is to go over past documents and see what you could have done better. If you don’t like the way a certain sentence sounds, chances are neither will your reader. Read things written by your peers to help you identify your style of writing and ways you can take yours to the next level.
What do you struggle with while writing? What helps?