If students can boast of having excellent writing skills, they are lucky! Now, you may be wondering, “ I can write as well and so what?” The point is that strong writing skills are crucial for many reasons. At an elementary school, students are taught how to form letters or numbers with a pen or pencil. Remember those moments when you kept a pen to write the first readable words? Then, students start taking the first steps in writing – first stories, first essays, first research papers and so on. Were all those writing assignments successful for you on the first try? Not sure, but all students are expected to make progress in writing. Manage to show off brilliant academic writing skills all the time on any subject?
In this article, you’ll find out what these academic writing skills are and why it is necessary to master them. Additionally, you’ll be presented some effective ways to develop your writing skills so that your everyday life will be simplified and your student life will be without any stressful situations like “I’ll fail to write my term paper on time” or “I can’t do my paper as required by my instructor.” Don’t be surprised by this as writing causes a lot of stress among students. Based on the research, writing is a real barrier for 50% of students pursuing a master’s or a doctoral degree in the USA. Prevent yourself from the same results immediately and belong to another half of successfully-graduated students!
Top 5 Academic Writing Skills You Need to Have as a Student
1. Effective Time Management Skills
No matter how quickly your paper must be written – in one day, one week or one month – it is vital to be able to manage time effectively. You know that academic writing involves many other stages besides writing itself – researching, structuring, outlining, drafting, editing. So you need to find enough time to succeed in each of these stages without feeling overwhelmed by the pressure of work. Even if you have to write a paper in one night, you are highly recommended to create a schedule for the night. Learn how to plan your precious time so that it will have a positive impact on your progress in writing. Look at an approximate plan of paper writing below. Feel free to use it for your own benefits.
2. Productive Research Skills
It’s impossible to write an academic paper without doing proper research first through trustworthy sources of information – academic books and journals, scholarly articles, dictionaries, encyclopedias, interviews, surveys, etc. Being able to research properly and use all the relevant materials to back up your essay or research paper is an essential aspect of academic writing. So you need to know how to find reliable and suitable information, how to access it and how to use it in your work so that it will make sense. Otherwise, your paper won’t carry credibility in the academic field. Mind it!
3. Original Thinking
When your instructors remind you about plagiarism and its consequences, it isn’t in vain – there is no interest to read a plagiarized paper. Primarily, you as a researcher are supposed to come up with original thoughts about topics. Even if your chosen topic is fully-investigated, it is important to approach an issue in a creative way – find some new research methods, provide new counterarguments or new solutions to a problem. It is true that some people are better at creative thinking than others. But academic writing is that makes you think creatively as you don’t want to be charged with plagiarism, right?
4. Structuring Ideas Logically
Well, you know how to manage your time for paper writing, find relevant data for it and apply new ways of answering research questions, but what about the logical flow of thoughts in a written form? A logical flow of information occurs at a number of levels in your writing – from words to paragraphs. It is when you move smoothly from one topic to another in the whole paper, from one sentence to the next in a paragraph, and one paragraph to another. The logical coherence of your essays and other papers helps readers not get lost in your expressed ideas. There is a guide to achieving a logical flow you can apply in practice in your essays and research papers.
5. Using Grammar and Spelling Rules Correctly
The availability of automatic checkers in word processing programs (besides, you can try out 5 best free alternatives to Microsoft Word 2019) greatly reduces the likelihood of possible grammatical and spelling errors in your papers. But can an artificial intelligence replace the human knowledge of grammar and spelling 100%? Not always! For example, this is far from being reliable when it concerns using homonyms (i.e. words that are pronounced the same as others but are spelled differently and have different meanings) or passive voice. While you have one meaning in mind, a checker can correct it in another way. And what to do? Try to prove your instructor what you mean? So don’t rely on this way of checking your writing and learn the grammar and spelling rules to ‘compete’ with your computer.
Moreover, proper grammar lays the groundwork for effective both verbal and written communication. How will you listen to a person who makes a lot of different mistakes while communicating with you? The same negative impression will occur to you if you find spelling or grammatical errors on the website where you’d like to buy something. According to the survey, poor grammar usage on websites scares 59% of users away. The same results are applied not only in a written language but in a spoken one as well, for example, while giving a speech in public. If you make grammar mistakes in a spoken language, you’ll write wrongly as well. It is possible especially if you need to write a paper in a hurry as you will do it without paying too much attention to the correctness of written content.
3 Reasons Why Are Writing Skills Essential to Students?
First of all, a student needs the academic writing skills to have an opportunity to cope with all the types of written assignments – essays, research papers, tests, term papers – that are assigned in college. Besides, exceptional writing skills also help an individual in the process of communication via email with their classmates and tutors on the teamwork and group projects. And finally, all employers are on the lookout for professionals with strong written communication skills. Well, these are the number one way to apply your skills. How about the rest?
1. Good Class Performance
The point is that writing skills help students to be good at the studies. For instance, in English classes, a student typically needs to cope with a wide range of papers that will later be the number one source for the semester grade. In other words, excellent writing skills are your key to academic success. The other classes, including a lot of business courses, also require great writing abilities. The tutors even in the non-English courses usually provide students with various papers and assigned homework. The students are usually graded on both – the content and its proper organization. Poor spelling, grammar, and punctuation may become the number one cause for the markdowns.
2. Promising Professional Career
To say more, writing skills may help you to get the job of your dream. When you get your application materials together for the interview (cover letter, resume, etc.), you also have a unique chance to demonstrate your brilliant abilities through persuasive writing. In addition to that, employers tend to check the candidate’s resumes and cover letters to evaluate his or her written communication skills. Besides, some employers may reject your candidacy because of spelling, grammar and punctuation errors.
A lot of experts state that employers take into account the writing skills of the applicant when pondering over his or her professional promotion. As the person is moving up into the company positions, the importance of the qualitative performance of written communication increases as well. There are certain norms and rules in business communication to follow and succeed in business management. Even communication via email with a variety of clients and business partners shows your writing skills. Solid written communication abilities can convey professionalism, intelligence as well as attention to every detail when one has to represent the image of the business.
3. Effective Interpersonal Communication
And finally, everyday communication is a great way to use your academic writing skills! While much emphasis is placed on listening and verbal skills in the process of communication, writing also conveys external and internal messages for the organization and its representatives. For example, you decide to write a message to your instructor informing about the deadline extension. The way you write it will affect the final result whether the deadline will be extended or not. For that, you need to provide strong arguments as you do in your essays.
As you see all the academic writing are applied in everyday situations – be it planning a day, choosing a university course, searching for a journey or speaking to friends. And the list of all examples where your academic writing skills are applied in everyday life isn’t full now. But your own personal experience can demonstrate it to the maximum degree. Just master your writing skills every day and enjoy its effectiveness in everyday life.