Today, I will be sharing 3 writing strategies that have worked for me during my time as both an undergraduate and graduate student.
As a writer, I feel that my love for it came when I was very young. I am an ESL student (English as Second Language Program) and that actually affected my self-esteem the older I got. So, I decided in college to work really hard on my writing because I could tell from my first papers that I was going to need more help with my writing.
So, Before I offer any advice on the actual process of writing a paper….
My first tip to you is to look for a writing center in your college. There may even be a tutoring center that can connect you with a tutor to look over your papers. And, if you attend a school where your class has an actual TA9 Teaching Assistant), I highly suggest you work with them and have them look over a draft before you submit. But, be mindful, these TA’s are overworked and doing their own classes and research. So, sometimes, they can only read a few pages out of your entire paper, so write down some concerns you may have and maybe sections in your papers you feel you need the most help. I would recommend doing a Word Document where you add comment notes to the areas you need the most help on. This really helps your TA. Sometimes, they appreciate it so much that they will read more than you had requested because they genuinely want to help. Lastly, this can also happen with a professor. If you go to office hours and build a rapport with your professor, they may feel inclined to read more of your drafts than you ask. You just never know how a person will respond when you ask for help, so reach out and ask people on campus for resources.
5 WRITINGS TIPS
- READ THE PROMPT BEFORE YOU DRAFT ANYTHING!
- For any college course, you will always be given a writing prompt for any paper you write. Always refer back to the prompt and any instructions given to you when writing your paper. It is really easy to get carried away on your thoughts during draft writing and sometimes it can be time consuming (and you don’t have the time!). For that reason, you always want to make sure that what you are writing is answering the question or questions at hand. Lastly, a writing prompt is almost a blueprint to an A grade. I say this for two reasons. First, if you do not answer the question in its entirety, don’t expect an A grade. Secondly, sometimes, the way the prompt is written is almost an outline itself on how to write your paper. Some professors really guide a student by offering questions in the prompt that structure the paper for your basically.
- OUTLINE YOUR PAPER
- Outlining papers has been something we are taught as soon as we start writing essays in school. Writing an outline is an advantage for you because you can really see visually the direction of your paper. This means, you can take a step back and ask yourself if each paragraph (1) answers the question(s) with a strong argument or example, and (2) does it make sense. Lastly, writing an outline will let you know if one of your arguments is strong enough to be in your essay or not BEFORE you even write the paper.
- ANSWER THE 5 W’s
- As an overall practice for your papers, you should always be able to answers the 5 W’s when you are done with your first complete draft. The 5 W’s are Who, What, Where, When, and Why. The other one that is also important is the “How.” If you can answer all of these, then you are on the right track!
I hope these writing strategies help and if you have any questions, leave a comment below.
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