Perhaps more than ever, good writing skills are a highly valued commodity when it comes to college admissions and—down the road—a successful professional life. In an era where students’ scores on the SAT’s writing section are steadily declining, it can make a world of difference if your superior writing skills stand out from the pack.
Recently, the National Commission on Writing published a report that delved deeply into the reasons why good writing skills are so important. For instance, two-thirds of all salaried employees in the United States have regular writing responsibilities as a part of their professional duties. To boot,The Wall Street Journal counted coherent writing as one of its “Must-Have Job Skills,” for young job hunters. Whether you’re completing a research paper, crafting a personal statement for college, or tackling the SAT, honing your writing skills now can create a solid foundation for years to come.
At Vogel Prep Tutors, we’ve compiled an effective and easy-to-practice list of tips for developing outstanding writing skills that will serve students in the classroom today, and in their professional lives in the future.
1. Study Structure
Learning to write may sometimes seem like a daunting prospect, as the question of where to begin can be an overwhelming one. That’s why studying the structure of successful essays and articles can teach valuable tools to help you craft your own effective writing. There is a formula to good writing that can be studied by simply taking note of what you’re reading and how the author of the piece executes his or her point, from introduction to conclusion.
2. Don’t Forget to Edit
After finishing a lengthy essay or term paper, the last thing a student may want to do is go back and re-read what they’ve already spent so much time completing. However, editing is one of the most effective weapons in a good writer’s arsenal. Not only does editing allow you to catch careless mistakes, it also causes the writer to take a step back and digest the written piece as a whole—on the look out for themes, transitions, clarity, and redundancies.
3. Use the Buddy System
Enlisting the help of a writing partner is a highly effective way to improve one’s writing skills. By recruiting a second set of eyes to look over your work, you begin to understand how your writing reads to different audiences, what material is unclear, and what portions are most effective.
4. Make an Outline
By taking the time to organize your thoughts, you limit the risk of miss communicating material en route from your brain to the paper. In delineating introduction, thesis, body, conclusion, you create a natural organizational flow for your writing project, which takes much of the guesswork out of ordering and prioritizing your points and supporting information.
5. Foster a Writer’s Environment
Limiting distractions is a simple yet effective method to improve the quality of your writing. By setting up an area solely for the purposes of writing and completing work, your mind becomes trained to hone in on the task at hand. Writing requires sustained concentration, so fostering an environment free of distractions allows you to complete your work more efficiently and coherently.
As is the case in acquiring any skill, learning to write well takes practice, commitment, and time. Adopting some of these good writing habits may be the boost you need to take your abilities to the next level. At Vogel Prep we offer one-on-one tutoring, summer intensives, and small classes geared towards sharpening students’ writing abilities, so that no matter the goal, students are readily equipped with this indispensable skill.
Whatever your student’s academic needs may be, Vogel Prep Tutors has a summer program that can help. Contact us today at 480-990-7374, or via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.