• Simple and Practical Writing Tips from Real Writers

improving writing skills in the university

It’s no secret that writing is a skill that all university students need to have. After all, nearly every class is going to require at least one paper being written to showcase the knowledge picked up during the class. For that reason, improving writing skills in university can improve grades and give you a leg up on the competition when you graduate and look for a job. Here’s how to get the job done right.

Focus on the Topic

This might sound like a no-brainer, but it’s important to keep the focus on any piece of writing on the topic. Your instructors won’t be impressed with a long-winded paper that misses the mark and goes off on a tangent that doesn’t really apply. Some experts will say that being able to focus solely on the assigned topic is the most important writing skill that you can pick up during your time in university.

Practice Good Time Management

Sometimes university can be overwhelming. A full course load means lots of outside work so it’s imperative to learn proper time management skills. Typically, papers are assigned at least a few days in advance so learning how to break the project down so that you can get it done by the deadline is a valuable skill that will serve you well in many areas of your life. Prioritizing and managing your time will help with writing and with nearly every other task you face.

Find a Quiet Place to Work

Being distracted is never conducive to good writing. To really turn out a quality piece of work, you’re going to need to find a quiet place to get your paper done. That might be a corner of the library or a coffee shop away from campus. It doesn’t really matter where you work, but it must be silent, so you can concentrate. A busy cafeteria, your crowded dorm room or a restaurant are probably not good choices.

Do Your Research

There may be times when you can crank out a paper without doing much research, but chances are that you’re going to have to put in some research to prove that you know the topic and material. Most university professors require a bibliography as part of a paper and that’s going to require you to find some sources. As long as you have to put in the work, look for reputable ones that do a good job of backing up your stance on the paper.

Include and Intro and Conclusion

Any good paper starts out with an introduction that tells readers what the topic is and what they can expect to read in the paper. A quality conclusion ties everything up at the end and proves that you know what you’re talking about and that you can back up your opinion or the side of the issue you are on.

Remember Your Audience

When you’re writing a paper, it’s vital to remember who you’re writing it for. If your instructor has a specific opinion on the matter, be sure to at least touch on it, even if you don’t agree. Even if your professor is the only one who will actually read the finished paper, be sure you remember your target and pretend that you’re writing it for them.

Follow the Style Guide

There are multiple styles when it comes to writing a paper, so be sure you understand the format that yours should follow. Your professor will likely give you this information when the paper is assigned. Look for templates online if you struggle with the exact layout. It’s also important to stick with the length requirements. You may get counted down for a paper that is way too long or that isn’t long enough.

Let Someone Read It

Before you turn your paper in, let a roommate, a classmate or a trusted friend read it. This is a great way to get some initial feedback and to help you catch mistakes. Not only can this improve the overall quality of your paper, but it will also help you hone your writing skills as you pick up new tips and tricks.

Practice All the Time

As the saying goes – “practice makes perfect.” The more you practice writing, the better you’ll get at it. Writing skills are important for many pursuits in your future so using your time in university to hone those skills is something that you’ll never regret doing.

Writing is important in the classroom and will also be something you’ll need in your professional life. Very few people are born natural writers so practicing is part of getting it right. The more you do it, the better you’ll get. University is a great time to get this skill under your belt, as you have professors and classmates who can guide you along the way.