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6 Ways to Boost Your Writing Skills at College

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6 Ways to Boost Your Writing Skills at College

Writing skills are something that no college student can do without. It all starts right from the application process. An impressive cover letter can make you stand out from hundreds of applicants and win you a place in your dream college.

After admission, there’s even more work to be done, with endless papers on a wide range of subjects assigned regularly. And while there’s a proven way to lessen the burden by entering a “write my essay on” request in a search bar, this solution is a great temporary measure.

After college, you’ll need great writing skills to put together your CVs and job applications, promote yourself as a personal brand on social media, and communicate with your boss and colleagues. So, it would be wise if you use your time at college to work on sharpening these skills. Here are some ideas on how you can do it.

Know Your Tools

All texts consist of words arranged in sentences according to the rules of grammar. Practically anyone can write a text. Whether it will be good or bad depends on how well one uses the tools – primarily, vocabulary and grammar.

So, make dictionaries and grammar textbooks your best friends, especially if English is not your native language. Learn how to use fancy words, synonyms, and complex sentences, and you’ll see how your essay grades will improve.

Besides vocabulary and grammar, there are other essential aspects of crafting a good text. These are structure and style, and you should take them into account if you want to become an amazing writer.

Read Your Texts Out Loud

If you’re unsure how smoothly your text flows, read it aloud, and listen to how it sounds. This method will help you identify any awkwardness there may be in your writing. You’ll spot too short or long sentences, wordiness, wrong punctuation, and more.

After you make the necessary corrections, read the edited content once again. Do so to see if there’s anything more that needs your attention. You can also read your work to an audience – for example, your friends or relatives. This will give you even more ideas on how you can improve it.

Don’t Forget About Editing

“To write is human, to edit is divine” – Stephen King says in his book “On Writing” – and he certainly knows something about the craft.

Editing is necessary for any text, be it a college essay, a blog post, or a novel. After all, even the most talented authors can’t deliver perfect quality in a first draft.

In most cases, more than one round of editing is necessary as there are too many things to take care of. And while it’s okay to use online tools like Grammarly, it’s still impossible to get away without doing at least something manually. It’s also a good idea to ask someone else to read your final draft and make suggestions.

Read Books on Writing

Reading is vital if you want to become a better writer. And if you strive to take your skills to the next level, you need to read more than just fiction. There’s a handful of books dedicated to the craft that every student wanting to deliver better essays should read, such as:

  • “The Elements of Style” by W. Strunk, Jr. and E.B. White;
  • “On Writing: A Memoir of the Craft” by S. King;
  • “Bird by Bird. Some Instructions on Writing and Life” by A. Lamott.

There certainly are way more worthy works. But even by reading these few, you’ll improve your essays drastically, especially if you don’t forget to take notes as you read.

Take Writing Electives or/and Online Courses

If your college offers writing electives (and most colleges do), don’t hesitate to take them. Writing skills are crucial for anyone’s academic and professional success, so such classes will by no means be a waste of time.

Such electives are popular with the students, and the choice of courses is immense. For example, Stanford offers courses on writing and rhetoric such as portfolio preparation and science communication, among others. The choice is even wider in Champlain College in Canada, where students can learn poetry, online journalism, reviewing, and more.

There are also many great online educational courses out there. The range is wide – from Harvard’s free “Rhetoric: The Art of Persuasive Writing and Public Speaking” on edX to courses from prominent authors on Masterclass.

Practice a Lot

Practice makes perfect. This golden rule works for writing as well as for anything else. Don’t imagine that you’ll manage to become a better writer just by reading articles on how to write better. All the tips in the world will fail to work if you don’t practice following them.

There are several ways how you can practice crafting decent texts besides doing your college assignments. For example, you can:

  • start a blog;
  • keep a journal;
  • write essays on everything you feel strongly about.

Whatever you choose, pay attention to the quality of your texts. Just imagine that you’re going to have your work graded by the strictest college professor!

Also, remember that quantity doesn’t mean quality. The popular idea that daily practice helps improve your skills works only if you care about what you write.


Not all students like writing, but all of them have to deal with such assignments anyway. And there’s a good reason behind it because knowing how to communicate clearly and persuasively is crucial for success in the modern world. So, whether you like writing or not, you should work on mastering this particular skill. Use our suggestions to start doing it right away, and you’ll be grateful afterwards that you’ve taken this step while still in college!