Have you been struggling to improve your writing skills? Has constant criticism regarding your writing demoralised you? Have you not been getting the grades you are looking for because of a few basic glitches in your style? There is more to academic writing than just simply rephrasing information in a different manner and that is what we are going to lay stress on.
In the present day, methods and strategies behind creating good academic content have come a really long way. Precise and marketable write-ups are perhaps one of the most pivotal requisites for any concern; be it academic or professional and there has been a huge evolution in the definition of good content today.
With the dearth of time being a really common problem among a majority of people, manipulating raw information or facts into a presentable and easy-to-understand manner has become an important task when it comes to talking about any particular event topic in question.
When it specifically comes down to academic content, there is a lot to keep in your mind if you are looking to construct the best possible write-up for any particular project, thesis or dissertation. Academic writing has its own set of guidelines, aforementioned referencing styles and is quite a task at hand if it is to be done properly.
Here are some important tips which might help you improve your writing style along the way:
1. Primarily, the research done should be significant and sufficient
Anyone with a proper working knowledge of English will be able to roll out a vague write-up which would still be information-rich without conducting proper research. But specifically when it comes to academic writing, conducting proper research on the topic at hand is an absolute must.
Doing proper research has a lot of advantages as it will help you maintain the flow of your writing regarding the information you are trying to relay. Once you have identified and established a requisite number of facts, rephrasing and putting them forth in your write-up will not be a very difficult task at all.
So conducting proper research on the topic at hand is a must if you want to roll out a technically sound write-up.
2. Your write-up should be more than just information. People have Google for that!
Let’s face it. You are writing something which is for other people to read so make it worth their while. A lot of people stay under the impression that the more information-rich an academic write-up is, the better the grades it can fetch. But this is mostly an incorrect notion altogether as people have search engines for information. What must attract readers to your write up should be a U.S.P which is unique to you.Make sure you have a distinct style of conveying the information rather than producing a bland write-up with just facts. Knowing how to present the facts properly contributes to the quality of the write-up you want to roll out.
Make sure you have a distinct style of conveying the information rather than producing a bland write-up with just facts. Knowing how to present the facts properly contributes to the quality of the write-up you want to roll out.
3. Begin and end on a strong note
It is really important to pay attention to how you begin your write-up and a lot of brownie points get lost if the starting of your write-up fails to interest a reader on reading more. Beginning on a strong and firm note ensures the fact that there are higher chances of a reader completely going through your write-up.At the same time, ending on an equally strong note fetches brownie points as well.
At the same time, ending on an equally strong note fetches brownie points as well.
4. Develop your own style of writing
It isn’t as hard as it sounds. The internet is filled with writing samples on how to construct a technically correct write-up but that is not always how it should be. Developing your own style of writing gives you the freedom of improvising and mixing things up which might very well work to your advantage. Academic writing my range from essays to dissertations and there are various ways to construct each. So choose the optimal one for you or try and come up with your own! If you’re confident enough that is.
5. Find Inspiration
If you have to significantly improve your writing style, then one of the foremost things you should do is read write-ups written by veterans. Not only would seeing the quality of tenured writers be a morale boost for you, but it will also help you develop a personalized style of writing as well as pinpoint to important aspects when it comes to creating a technically sound write-up.
Read as much as you can as it’s going to help you grow. Find out what style, what kind of language and what kind of approach suits your writing style the best. While it is not okay to plagiarize writing styles or content of other writers, it is completely alright to draw inspiration from them.
6. Simple and easy to understand language
A lot of people are under the impression that a write-up is technically strong only when it has a number of technical terms put in it relating to the topic in question. That is a wrong notion as a write-up’s main objective is to simply relay information on a particular topic to the person reading it.
Simple and easy to understand language works wonders when it comes to academic writing and that is more or less, what people strive to look at. Try to form the simplest of sentences with proper grammatical construction and avoid using too many jargons in your write up. The best way to roll out a write-up of supreme quality is to adhere to the guidelines provided as well as careful improvisation on your part.
While it is enough to write in the vocabulary you already have, it is never a bad idea to try and expand your vocabulary by learning new simple words which you can use as alternatives to complicated ones.
7. Maintain a formal tone for your write-up mostly
When it comes to any write-up, most of the times maintaining a formal tone helps. When it comes to academic assignments, formal tones are an absolute must. Avoid using you everyday language in your write up and try and make the content as precise as possible using a formal approach to penning things down.
8. Don’t try and fight writer’s block
It is quite understandable that sometimes, you will just be out of words and that is completely fine. Don’t try and fight your writer’s block as it will only make things worse and you will end up including something unsatisfactory in your write-up. So, the best thing to, when this happens, is just to take it easy. Go out, get some fresh air, exercise a bit and by the time you will be back, your writer’s block will have disappeared.
9. Listen to how people speak
This might not be in most of the handbooks. But listening to how people talk can very well positively influence your writing style. There is no point denying that every part of our spoken language, be it grammar, words or conversation style is acquired from other people. And that isn’t a bad thing at all. Talking to more and more people expands your forte of words significantly and occasionally open up all new ways of relaying a particular piece of information.
10. Mix it up. Try different approaches!
After you have drawn inspiration, try and mix things up from the things you have learned by reading online. Experiment with different approaches with different write-ups. While a formal approach might be the requisite for some topics, adopting a conversational writing approach for other informal topics might not be a bad idea at all.
11. Correct Grammar
While this can very well form a part of easy to understand language, specifically talking about grammar makes sense as a lack of proper sentence construction and apt punctuations can do disasters for your write-up. Clean and correct grammar not only makes your write-up easier to read but also makes sure that the reader continues to read it rather than getting agitated by the lack of proper sentence construction.
Here are some grammatical guidelines for improving your writing style:
- Avoid redundant language: Do not use two words of the same meaning in the same context as not only is that grammatically incorrect, it might also deliver mixed messages to the reader.
- Proper punctuation: Proper punctuation is really important, especially when it comes to your academic write-up as not using punctuations can jumble things up quite a lot. Make sure you use your full stops and commas at the correct places, especially when it comes to long sentences.
- Avoid very long sentences: Compound sentences are something which is best left off avoided when it comes to academic writing. But we often end up using them in order to connect multiple contexts in one sentence. Using simple sentences makes your write-up all the more easy to read.
- Avoid using the passive voice: When it comes to penning down something, active voice is generally preferred over passive voice regarding relaying a particular message. Also, active voice is stronger when it comes to putting forth a point and also requires a lesser number of words as opposed to passive voice.
- Refrain from using adverbs: Technically speaking, this is yet another area which significantly helps shorten a write-up’s length by using fewer words than required. Typically, try replacing adverbs with strong verbs. It does a great deal of work in making sentences more meaningful with a lesser number of words.
- Avoid normalization: When it comes to your write-up, try and avoid normalization as much as possible as doing so would unnecessarily increase the length of your articles as well as make certain terms a lot more complicated. Do not try and use complicated nouns where simple verbs would suffice.
- Be particular about your tenses: Make sure that you are not changing tenses midway between sentences. Or even paragraphs. It’s best that you mostly stick to a single tense when constructing your write-up.
12. Always get a second opinion apart from yourself
Your write-up might be immensely satisfying to you but this might prevent you from spotting some minor mistakes you might have made. Whenever you have finished with any particular write-up, it is always beneficial to have a second person carefully review your content in order to identify any mistake which you might have overlooked.
13. Don’t make your write-up unnecessarily lengthy
While it’s a good thing that you might have the calibre of rolling out extensive, informative topics, it might not always work to your advantage. There is a serious dearth of time today where people are not willing to waste more time than they should. Learn to understand which write-ups should be lengthy and which ones should not. Based on that, try and plan your work. Don’t go on droning unnecessarily when a single page would do. It is not going to do you any good.
14. Try using shorter paragraphs
In the case of lengthy topics or write-ups, it is quite evident that you have to keep on droning a lot, but there is always an optimal way to do it. Try and use short paragraphs in your write-ups even if you have to write a lot. This gives the content a concise structure which is easier for the reader as really long paragraphs might sometimes tend to get to a user’s nerves.
15. Edit your write-up to the very last word! More than once
When it comes to writing lengthy content, there might be some mistakes which you can overlook or some changes which would make the content of your write up better. Editing is one very important job and should be done at least twice to make sure that your write up is flawless. It’s always best to keep your write up as a draft and edit it after sometime when you come back with a fresh mind. Doing that would increase the chances of you finding out possible mistakes in your write-up if any.
16. Keep practicing
Conveying information in the form of words on paper might look like an easy task from the outside, but it really isn’t. And the best way you can uplift your writing skills is by practising. Write more and more each day and get opinions from experts around you to track your progress. The more you write, the more your vocabulary gets extended and the more words you have at your disposal, the more avenues you will be able to explore while trying to construct a technically strong write-up.
17. Always keep a spell checker tool handy
Spelling and grammatical errors are often very embarrassing especially when it comes to academic assignments. But to be truthful, spelling mistakes can happen to the best of us when we are writing in a hurry and there is no point denying that. Now while editing and checking spellings manually might work out for a short write-up, in the case of lengthy ones, doing it manually becomes a problem. A spell-check software not only pinpoints to a particular spelling mistake in a write-up but also includes tools which do a grammatical check on your write-up as well to avoid any mistakes in the article. And these come in really handy in the absence of experienced editors.
18. A Plagiarism checking tool might not be a bad idea either
Plagiarism is a punishable offence, yes, but a lot of people can admit that plagiarism is not always intended but ends up happening anyway. In case of any sort of write-up and especially considering academic assignments, it is best to ensure that there isn’t a case of unwanted plagiarism as well. This is where plagiarism checkers come in handy where they pinpoint to unoriginal text which you can rephrase or reconstruct to help remove that anomaly.
19. Stay updated on academic writing technical guidelines
Academic writing differs from normal content writing in a few ways and technical guidelines form a major part of these differences. Academic papers often come with a guideline of following particular referencing styles which can prove to be tricky if it’s your first time using them. Try staying updated regarding the different referencing styles like APA, Chicago, MLA, etc.
20. Time yourself and your writing period to know your writing potential
Deadlines are something which is really important in terms of writing assignments and especially academic writing. One of the best ways to accurately measure your writing prowess is to set yourself a target and clock how much time it takes you to reach that target. This will help you track how you fast you can produce technically correct write-ups. Keeping a record of your own performance will definitely help you get a morale boost.
21. Don’t rush yourself all the time
Always remember that to roll out a quality write-up, you must invest quality time in it. Do not unnecessarily rush yourself if you don’t have a deadline to maintain. Invest as much time as you can afford behind your piece to make it worth reading to someone else. A write up written out of haste often fails to make much impact.
22. Do not use unnecessary referencing
While referencing is an important aspect of write-ups and a pivotal part of academic writing, over-referencing can be said to be a no-no. Do provide references for the significant piece of information which you obtain but avoid referencing both small and big sources at every instance of your write up.
23. Keep on learning
There is no dearth of information on the internet on technical guidelines on helping you improve your writing skills. And there is certainly no end to learning the craft so keep on reading on the internet about every little thing or problem which comes to your mind considering the fact that you can get information about anything and everything online.
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