Writing is an essential part of school, regardless of your major or classes you are taking at the moment. Whether you need to write a paper for your English course or record extensive details for your science lab, you are always going to need strong writing skills. If you feel the need to brush up on your writing, take a look at these simple activities that can help you do just that.
Review grammar basics
Do you know the difference between ‘there,’ ‘they’re,’ and ‘their?’ How about ‘lay’ versus ‘lie?’ If these common grammar basics trip you up, perhaps a quick refresher is all you need to hone those writing skills. After all, proper grammar is really the backbone of good writing. Your writing will gain much more credibility if you can perfect the language you are using.
Enhance your vocabulary
Having an extensive vocabulary of powerful language is only going to make your writing that much stronger. If you do not feel you have a full repertoire of words readily available at the back of your mind, it would be wise to brush up on your vocabulary. There are a number of ways to do this. For one, you could do the age-old trick of reading the dictionary. However, if you are looking for a bit more excitement, challenge yourself to learn one new word each day and naturally incorporate it into your conversations in some way. Learning by doing can be quite impactful. If none of these options feel ideal, try picking up a word search or a crossword puzzle. The words hidden deep in these puzzles can be beneficial to pick up and understand. Moreover, always try to look up any words you are unfamiliar with!
Read, read, read
One way to truly refine your writing skills is simply to read! Pick some favorite, respected authors and study their work to get a feel for how they choose certain words and stylistic choices to create powerful pieces of literature. Dedicate at least a few minutes each day to immerse yourself in a book you love. It could be a non-fiction piece, a how-to guide about a topic you are interested in, or even a mystery novel. Before you know it, you will find that you are a better writer yourself because you have had the chance to engage with and ponder powerful words written on a page. You may even find that you favor a certain writing style and take inspiration from that by applying it to your own work. Try to pay extra attention to how words are used and see if you can apply some of those techniques to your everyday writing.
Keep a journal
Oftentimes, the best way to improve your skills with anything in life is to simply practice — this is no different when it comes to writing. Sitting down and spending even just five minutes free writing every single day is going to help you refine your skills in the long run. Keeping a journal is perfect for this. You have the chance to get some daily writing in, but you also have an opportunity to express yourself freely in a written form that will not be reviewed or graded by someone else. Plus, it can be pretty fun to look back at your old journal entries and see your thoughts from a particular day in the past!
Jenny Modlisz is a contributing writer for Varsity Tutors, a live learning platform that connects students with personalized instruction to accelerate academic achievement.