Writing is one of the most important skills you’ll learn during your college career. You’ll write research papers, essays, short answers and so much more. Proper grammar, diverse sentence structures, and organized paragraphs are vital to your success and will excel at the University of Wyoming College of Business.
Not only is writing essential to your success in college, it’s even more vital in the workplace. Experience with proper communication strategies is incredibly desirable to potential employers, and poor writing skills are one of the biggest reported frustrations by bosses today. So even if you don’t have extensive writing experience coming into college, it’s a great place to expand your writing ability before you head into the business world. Here are some tips to help fix up your writing, and push your skills to the next level.
1. Go into it with a plan.
Structure is really important in college essays. In high school, we could get away with filling our essays with fluff to hit the five-page minimum, but that won’t fly in college. Using this process will give your papers the structure it needs.
- Start with brainstorming; put down all the ideas for your paper in any format you want.
- Create a ‘skeleton’ with the main points and supporting points you want to hit, and use your brainstorm to fill in the information.
- Beef up your paragraphs with more information. Research credible sources and keep track of the links you use.
- Review your paper for flow problems or grammatical errors.
2. Read your paper aloud to yourself.
As long as you don’t mind looking silly when your roommate walks in on you talking to yourself, this is a great way to catch problems with the flow of your paper. When you’re writing, you may not notice that you used one word twice in a sentence, or a sentence runs so long it may as well be a paragraph. If you don’t follow any of these other tips, we highly recommend you at least follow this one.
3. Get your friends to proofread your papers, and proofread theirs.
One of the best ways to learn to catch mistakes is to practice helping other people catch theirs. The immediate benefit of proofreading is catching mistakes on that paper you're about to turn in. The long-term benefits help you fine-tune your brain to be more mindful of those mistakes when working on future papers.
4. Utilize Campus Writing Centers.
Many campuses offer services through Writing Centers, and the best parts? They’re helpful, they’re free, and they’re there for you. It’s always a good idea to take your papers into a Writing Center before you turn them in; they can help you turn your C paper into a B paper, and your B paper into an A paper.
5. Try to finish your paper a day early.
It’s always a good idea to try and finish your paper a day early; first, to stay mindful of the deadline and avoid turning in a late paper, but also to give you a break for 12 hours or so. Mistakes in the flow of your paper are easier to catch if you put it away for a while, and open it back up later.
6. Use formatting resources.
There are many formatting resources out there to help students excel in their writing skills. Purdue Owl is one of the most popular and is an online source for students who need help writing in MLA and APA formats. It shows you the correct format, how to cite properly, and sample papers in each format. It also has a variety of online tutorials on writing, if you really want to take your writing to the next level.
With these tips, you’re writing skills are bound to improve in no time, setting you up for success in your college education and your future career. The University of Wyoming College of Business offers success tips like this and more through our Green Johnson Student Success Center. Learn More Today!