7 Techniques To Improve Your College Writing Skills
Do you ever dream about going back to school but fear the writing you will have to do? Or do you struggle with writing professionally at work? Either way, there are a few techniques that you can use to make the writing process easier and faster while still having a better-quality result.
Beginning with the obvious, does your writing look neat and easy to read? If it is not, your readers will have difficulty reading your message. Unless there is a good reason to change fonts, stick to Arial, Times New Roman or Courier fonts in a 12-point size. They are easier to read than the others. (Arial is actually the easiest to read on a screen.) Also, choose a plain-text style for ease of reading. Bold words stand out from the rest. They can be used to draw the eye to one part of a phrase, but be sure to not overuse these text styles because it will defeat the purpose. Italics can be used for emphasis or for titles. Always avoid using all capital letters. Your reader will view all caps as the equivalent to shouting. Finally, avoid using more than one exclamation point at a time; one works just fine!
Avoid Abbreviations & Texting Speak
Second, how do you make your writing more professional and less like texting? Texting is fine for sending messages to friends and family who understand your abbreviations; however, the same is not true for professional writing. For instance, “I wuz ROFL” does not add any value or meaning to your workplace writing. It does not belong in an academic essay either. Many of your peers or managers at work will not understand the meanings of text speak abbreviations, so you will not be understood if you use them. The best way to break the habit of writing in text speak is to catch all of your common abbreviations and either spell them out completely or get rid of them entirely.
Use Complete Sentences
Third, making sure you write complete sentences is another way to make your writing more professional. If you have trouble writing complete sentences, try using simple model sentences. If you master a few patterns, you can use these over and over in your writing. Look at good writing in books, newspapers and magazines. Try to emulate their sentences and get a feel for how complete sentences look. Also, write using Microsoft Office Word and look at the underlined areas. Make sure that you revise your writing until the lines are gone.
Use The Write Right Word
Fourth, how do you know if you are using the write right word? To help with words you commonly miss, make a list of words you continually get wrong, and keep it handy when you write. Here are some examples:
- Whether or not versus weather is hot
- They’re in their car over there
- Now I know when to say no
- Two people talk too much to me
Capitalizing Words Correctly
A fifth way of making your writing more professional is to capitalize words correctly. The word “I” is always capitalized. The first letter of the first word of every sentence should be capitalized—always! Names should be capitalized. At the very least, make sure every person’s name and every geographical place name is capitalized. Here are two examples: 1) The Great Lakes in North America are Lake Superior, Lake Huron, Lake Michigan, Lake Erie and Lake Ontario. 2) John and I went to see his aunt and uncle while my brother, William, was visiting Aunt Susan.
Using Punctuation Goes A Long Way
Sixth, how is your punctuation? Using punctuation correctly goes a long way in making your writing professional sounding. Put a period, exclamation point, or question mark at the end of every sentence. Proper spacing with punctuation is also important. Make sure to put one space in between words but no spaces before your punctuation marks.
Practice Makes Perfect
Seventh, practicing these techniques often will ensure they become a regular part of your writing. Online Leadership Degree schools have students practice their writing skills regularly. With each course they take, their writing skills improve, while their stress about writing decreases. Employers want employees with good writing skills, and the Business Leadership Program graduates are prepared to face the tough competition over jobs because of the skills and writing techniques they learn within their degree program.
*In no way does Fremont College promise or guarantee employment or level of income/wages.