Good Writing Matters: Tips to Improve your Writing in College


Writing tips from Granite State College.

Knowing how to write well is essential for any professional in the workplace and almost all job postings in every industry reference a desire for strong writing abilities. Writing well with clarity and purpose can help us communicate with co-workers, supervisors, CEOs, and clients, and aids in creating presentations, emails, letters, notes, instructions, documentation, and more. After all, without clear writing we wouldn’t be able to connect with one another to collaborate and make progress!

There’s no secret or trick to good writing. Like many things worth doing, good writing emerges with a little knowledge and a lot of practice. So if you don’t have great writing skills now, you can improve!

Good Writing Helps You Get Ahead

Everyone wants to get ahead in their professional life. Good writing skills can help you get there. In fact, it’s difficult to get started in your desired career without good writing. Your resume, cover letter and thank you emails require that you write well to present yourself in the best possible light. Not only that, you’ll also find you’re better able to articulate your thoughts during an interview if you’re able to write concisely and clearly.

Excellent writing can help you gain positive attention by showcasing your intelligence and capabilities. Poor writing can hinder your reputation. Additionally, poor writing can damage your employer’s brand perception with customers which can potentially turn them away and thus reduce profits. Bottom line: writing is essential in so many aspects of your career and the business world!

Improve Your Writing Now

The best time to start working on your writing is while earning your degree. Your faculty want to help you become stronger at writing in your field of interest. We encourage you to open your mind to the feedback that you receive. This feedback will help you see what you do well and where you need to improve.

Tips for Better Writing

We get it, the blank page and creating something from nothing can be intimidating, but with knowledge it doesn’t have to be. First, it’s important to understand that writing is a skill that you can work to improve and second, it takes time for good writing to emerge for anyone who sits down to write, from beginners to seasoned pros. The difference is in practice and knowing the tips to be successful.

Here are some ways to improve your writing:

  • Choose paper and project topics based on your enthusiasm or passion for the topic. Doing so will help you stay motivated and interested in the assignment and will help you hone your writing skills.
  • If you struggle with the basics of writing, like spelling and grammar, there are various online tools to help you improve. Tutoring through the online program Brainfuse offers diagnostic tools to help you pinpoint where you need help and  offers lessons specifically aimed at improving those areas. An in-person tutor at your local campus may also be helpful or you may find that an online resource like the Excelsior OWL website can help you sharpen your skills.
  • There’s no right or wrong way to approach a writing project. You may find that a certain technique is helpful for you such as creating an outline or mind map before you begin. Others may find that jumping into writing first is easier.
  • Reading can help inform your writing. The more you read, the better you’ll be able to recognize good writing.
  • Writing can be a process of discovery. Free writing can often lead to places you didn’t expect. Give yourself permission to write and see where it goes.
  • Starting with research can often help when you feel stuck. Reading what others have written on the topic can inspire your direction or can be used as a writing prompt to get you started. Don’t forget to cite sources!
  • Use your first draft to get the raw materials onto the page. Try to do so without judgement. Good writing does not come out fully formed and perfect, it’s often messy at first and begins to develop as you work with it. Try to let your writing breathe before you begin editing. A few hours to a few days will help you reset and examine your writing with fresh eyes. This will help you see what works and what doesn’t, including ways you can improve organization, sentence structure and flaws in writing flow and style.
  • Try working more slowly on writing projects by breaking your project into stages. First research your topic and take notes, then write a few paragraphs, then later a few more. Finally work through your draft a second time over several days until it feels polished.
  • Find a classmate or mentor to work with on your writing. Ask them to review what you’ve written with specifics about the kind of feedback you’d like to receive. Do the same for them.
  • A work study/work experience at college can also help you improve your writing skills through on-the-job writing tasks.
  • If you want to improve at something, it takes practice. Practice your writing each chance you get: in the office, at school, while emailing friends,  and anywhere else!

Writing is vastly important in our world today. While so much of our communication is digital, the focus on the written word is still paramount. Polishing your writing while earning your degree is a great time to improve and can have long lasting career benefits.

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