Helpful Tips to Become a Better Writer

So you've opened up a link that brought you to this article and I'm going to assume YOU want to become a better writer. First, congratulations for admitting to yourself that you can become better. Second, know that even the best writers continue to learn to become better writers. Third, let's get to the tips! 


Sad, but true. As college students we are constantly reading textbooks and mandatory readings, and many times we don't actually read these like we should be reading them. I highly suggest you read with diligence and use your time wisely. As a political science major and minors in english and women's studies I am often reading academic journals, papers, and even novels. But I still find free time to read for fun. I've learned that I become a better writer when I read my favorite authors. When reading I carefully analyze each page and look at the way commas, indents, and other important things are used. I know it's hard trying to pick up something for fun, but if you want to become a better writer then it's easy to do so when ya pick  up a darn book that you'll read from cover to cover. 


Good writers read their stuff in their heads, great writers read their stuff OUT LOUD. My professor often tells us that we should be annoying our roommates and reading out loud is a perfect way to read our work. Trust me on this one. You are truly able to hear pauses and things within your sentence structure that should or shouldn't be there. This also saves time because if you start by reading out loud when you're first editing it then by the second or third time you've probably nailed your work. 


Yes, the website Grammarly! I can't say everything that Grammarly says is perfect but one thing that Grammarly has helped with is noticing the kind of voice I use in my work. Ever heard someone call your paper passive? Yep, I am very passive when it comes to my work and this is not always great. I am told to have an active voice and what that merely means is the way I use the tense: past, present, future. I'll let you figure it out... go ahead, submit your work at Grammarly--it'll point it out to you. 


Having a hard time jotting something down? It could be because you're OVERTHINKING IT. Place your hands on your keyboard and type away. Don't think about grammatical errors and sentence structure. At one point you will need to check all the nitty-gritty things but for the first step just write what you're thinking in your head. The ideas will flow away into the keyboard and you'll be able to see where your mind is taking you. You might think this is a wild idea, but I definitely think it is worth trying. It can't hurt, right? 

Want to know more tips? Stay tune for next month's helpful tips to become a better writer.