How to Develop Effective Writing Skills
April 30th, 2017
Writing is changing as quickly as the world around it. Social media and texting restrict writers to small, pertinent messages to challenge writers and spare readers. When you receive a text message, don’t you prefer it to be short and to the point? We’re too busy and have too much at our fingertips to spend all day reading long, detailed messages from all of our friends, family, and co-workers.
Academic writing has also shifted. Most people have the misconception that “good writing” is puffed up with big words and complex structure, but all academic writing needs to do is relay a message without stumbling or getting lost. The best academic writing is concise and direct, and it always flows smoothly with well-placed punctuation. Teachers expect careful, direct essays without tangents or interruptions so that they can evaluate the work for its content and not its confusing phrasing. No one is inherently capable of this skill; it’s developed through practice with someone who has already mastered it. But this isn’t the only skill you need to develop.
The most essential element of effective writing is revision. No classic novel or ground-breaking essay was published without thorough editing and remodeling. But bad writing habits can make revision another hurdle to keep you from writing freely. If you’re focused on your grammar and punctuation while writing, you might write too carefully and lose your train of thought. The best strategy for writing is to let out everything you want to say, and then to trim and polish out all of the kinks once you’ve finished.
This is where tutoring can be most helpful. Whether working on a college essay or preparing for the STAAR test or SAT, good writing is dependent on experienced readers. Strong writers and readers find grammatical mistakes naturally and can help explain how to avoid tricky errors and alter awkward wording. Since the rules of grammar are boundless, only masters of the English language could be expected to know them all, and it’s this skill along with knowing how to consolidate information that makes tutoring so beneficial to quality writing.