It might have been possible to get along without proper writing skills in the ancient world, but everyone who wants to get along in any modern society on the planet needs to know how to write proficiently. If you are getting ready to go back to school, you’re doing yourself a service by taking time to learn to write like a professional. Improving your writing skills will give you a better edge to find the right career path that you desire when you graduate. Writing skills are necessary to efficiently and effectively perform well in nearly every line of work.
To quickly improve your writing skills, take some tips from professionals. Even if you don’t want to return to a traditional educational setting, you could still take time to improve your writing skills by researching techniques taught by those teaching writing to others. Taking time to improve your writing skills will bring clarity to your thoughts, which will help other people understand the information that you are attempting to communicate.
Writing Improvement Tip 1: Knowing the Basics
There are definitive rules that govern writing in academic settings, and many of these rules transition nicely into real world scenarios. Even though they might not be grading your performance in the same manner, most employers will be familiar with the common style guides, including guides from the Chicago Manual of Style, the Modern Language Association, and the Associated Press. Before you start researching style, you should become aware of various common errors in writing.
Understanding the basics of spelling and punctuation involves persistent practice, and the best way to practice these basics that will improve the quality of your writing is to read more often. When you read, don’t just look at the words on the page as a source of entertainment. Pay close attention to how the writer is using proper writing techniques, and look for moments when the writer chooses to bend the rules as well.
Writing Improvement Tip 2: Listening to Style Guides
Reading is one of the best activities for writers of all levels, and the best thing for a writer to read is information regarding techniques for better writing practices. There’s no book more informative and authoritative to improve your writing than a style guide. Most english professors have their students reference a style guide for papers and presentations. An article from Purdue University’s Online Writing Lab discusses our reliance upon the MLA style guide within the academic institution, especially in literature and english studies.
MLA isn’t the only style available to writers. Journalists and other members of the press use the Associated Press style guide. The Chicago Manual of Style has become a popular guide in the book publishing industry for nonfiction and fiction, but it’s rarely used in an academic setting.
Writing Improvement Tip 3: Implementing Your Writer’s Voice
When you get past the basics, writing involves choosing the right words to convey a message. The message that is being conveyed will be informed by the words the writer has chosen to convey information with emotion. The purpose of writing is to get certain information across to another individual, but the manner in which the writer chooses to get that information across impacts the tone of the piece. Thus, the writer may choose to use a specific voice to convey information.
An article from Walden University discusses using a scholarly voice, which is particularly useful for academic purposes. Students and scholars are usually arguing a point to inform the reader about the different sides of an argument. Students should use simple, direct language to get their ideas across. This type of writing works for most jobs in the real world as well. However, creative writing is one of the ways that an individual may effectively employ a nontraditional writer’s voice in their overall writing style.