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10 Ways to Improve Your Academic Writing Skills

by Elsa Stringer

Writing an essay, blog content, or even a cover letter can be very stressful and intimidating for a lot of people. Anyone can learn writing skills, once they have some basic knowledge. Being able to communicate your ideas with clarity is a virtue perfected by practice and experience. Several fundamental points can help you to speed up the process or brush up your writing skills.

Build a framework

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Before putting pen to paper make a plan of what you want to write about and in what order. Don’t make it complicated, just a few words along with one or two sentences for each paragraph will do. A well-thought-out plan will serve as a roadmap for your journey in writing in case you feel lost at some points. Many professional writers use this technique every time they set out to write, so it’s a proven method for a clear and powerful essay.

Brush up your grammar

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If you haven’t written anything in ages, it would be a good idea to remind yourself of the basic grammar and spelling. Choose a method that is convenient for you, whether you’re going to read about some grammar rules, or go with the trial-and-error approach, it’s always necessary to refresh your memory before getting down to writing.

Read

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The best way to achieve better writing skills is by reading. Don’t put yourself through the agony of reading Dostoyevsky right from the bat, but instead start with some lighter literature. In time, you will pick up on writing style, choice of words and sentence structure, and, consciously or unconsciously, implement it in your work.

As your writing skills progress, you can challenge yourself with topics you are not so familiar with, to broaden your horizons. Every writer is also an avid reader, for a reason. Also, you can order originally written essays online on paperwritingservice.com to gain some additional knowledge of how a finished product is supposed to look like.

Practice

Practice makes it perfect, so use every chance you have to practice writing. Everyday things, like writing notes, or comments, and feedback on social media, even text messages, can help you improve your academic writing. Some days will be worse than others, and if you get stuck, move away from the pen and paper and take a break.

Writing is a marathon, not a sprint. Getting anxious for not writing the whole essay in one sitting is not going to help you become a better writer. First sketches and drafts are usually discarded quickly, don’t beat yourself up about it. Just keep writing.

Join a workshop

Writing workshops

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Writing workshops, summer camps and night classes have become wildly popular in recent years. Marketers, bloggers, and students of different majors join these meetings to talk about issues they’re facing in the writing process, as well as to share ideas on how to overcome the problems. Don’t stress about not being the greatest writer, everyone there is more or less in the same boat.

Analyze your favorite writing styles

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Choose your favorite writer and dissect his writing style. If that’s something you strive for, it might help you to better understand the framework, form of sentences, and terminology. Do not plagiarize, but a detailed analysis of someone else’s work is one of the ways how you can develop your own writing abilities. Try every trick you see in their books you just never know where the inspiration will come from.

Maybe using humor in your essays is a good way to break the blandness, or perhaps it’s not something that you’re good at. In any case, you will learn more about the skills you have and the ones that you need to work on. It’s a natural process so don’t be discouraged if you’re not as funny as your favorite writer. Keep practicing, and eventually, you will find your niche.

Edit relentlessly

Edit, edit, and then edit some more. This is where you have to be your worst critic. Famous books are written and then re-written dozens of times. Go through your essay with a fine-tooth comb, slowly, and expunge everything that you think won’t work. Even the whole paragraph, if needed. Go back to your framework and double-check if you went through every point in detail. If you think that some sections are not comprehensive enough, go into specifics. Be harsh to yourself, this is the only way to perfect writing abilities.

Encourage yourself

Save all your writing work, even the first ones that you think are total nonsense. Reading them after some time you can get a clear picture of how far you’ve come since then. It’s a great self-confidence boosting tool to give you some winds at your back. You can use this trick every time you get stuck or lack inspiration as an encouragement. Looking at your early work will probably make you cringe and laugh at the same time, and maybe even inspire you for some future endeavors.

Speak your mind

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If you’re a blogger or a marketer, just rewriting news on your webpages are not going to engage your readers. Don’t be afraid to add your personal opinion and analysis. Adding your personal stamp in your essays will keep your readers interested, and you will make yourself stand out in the crowd. Writing recognizable texts will keep people coming back to your work.

Understand your essay

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Don’t ever use terminology that you’re not sure the meaning of. It will make your essay look like an incomprehensible pile of words that don’t make any sense. If you have to use specific vocabulary to explain the subject of your text, make sure to do your research first. Once you fully understand the core of the issue, implement that into your text.

As you can see, it’s not rocket science. Following some basic steps might make your workload a bit easier. You can, and should, add your own steps that you’ll develop over time. Personalize your writing process as you see fit and don’t forget to add some personal touches!

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