How to Improve College Writing Skills: 6 Resources for Students
Writing is tough enough for people who do it every day, so it can feel extra daunting if it’s been a while since you’ve dusted off your keyboard and written for a class or need to write in a style that may be new for you. For many students, writing can lead to feelings of anxiety and inadequacy.
If you experience these feelings, fear no more. The Writing Center at Ashford University created the Writing Refresher Series with you in mind. Whether you are struggling to recall the basics of academic writing or you are entering the fast-paced world of graduate studies, the Writing Refresher Series can give you the tools and the confidence to succeed on all your writing assignments.
1. “Writing Basics Refresher” Gets You Writing
A common line that instructors hear from their students is, “I am not a good writer.” This loaded sentence often stems from a number of hidden fears. For some students, grammar and punctuation checkers feel like a dark looming presence, waiting to underline every little mistake with red and green squiggly lines. Others worry about rambling too much in their writing, while many students just don’t know where to begin.
Check out the “Writing Basics Refresher” to calm all those fears. In three short bullet points, you’ll regain the sense of direction and motivation to finish even the toughest assignment.
2. Take Your Writing from Average to Academic
The “Academic Writing Refresher” resource will help you frame your thoughts in a way that instructors at the college level expect. This includes the structure of your paragraphs, the optimal language for your audience, and the use of quotes, evidence, paraphrases, and more.
While some students continue to fear that their words “don’t sound smart enough,” you will begin to see that your ideas are intelligent and you can put them onto paper in a way that makes your teachers happy!
3. Not Only What to Say, but What to Do
When you can move away from looking for the next fact to relay and, instead, understand what your sentences, paragraphs, and papers are doing, writing becomes an organic process that flows from your brain through your fingers. This allows you to take your skills to the next level. The “Gaining Advanced Writing Skills” tips will make you look at what your instructor – and eventually your boss, clients, and anyone else – wants you to accomplish, so that your writing can reach its most convincing level yet.
Having trouble with “too much summary”? Let us help. Does your writing need to “flow better”? That’s here, too. This resource will simplify your thinking about what you write so that you can produce clear, concise, well-developed ideas.
4. But I’m Not Always Going to Write for School…
The Writing Refresher Series does not stop at academic writing. Since writing is a skill that is required in nearly every field – and especially in business – our “Professional and Business Writing Refresher” may be the tool for you.
With this resource, you can learn how to avoid common mistakes that writers make in professional communications. From writing a proper e-mail and avoiding bias to creating an effective presentation, this resource will help you take your professional writing to the next level.
5. How to Make it as a Graduate Student
The bar for writing at the graduate level is obviously set a bit higher than it is for undergraduates, so check out our “Understanding Graduate Level Writing” resource to discover the adjustments you can make.
From seeing clear comparisons of graduate and undergraduate expectations to learning the appropriate amount of information to quote, this resource will take the work that you already know how to do and give you the tools for presenting it to scholars. Turn your strong prose into exactly what the instructor or committee wants by learning how to integrate research, avoid over-quoting, and format your paper in the proper fashion.
6. Tools That Empower Doctoral Writing
Even writers who have succeeded at every level – all the way into the dissertation process – can benefit from the Writing Refresher Series. Since the sections are targeted for specific writing needs, students at the upper levels of the academic world, such as those writing dissertations or Applied Doctoral Projects (ADP), can access a well of experience, insight, and wisdom through our resources.
You may be an expert in your field, but the format and style of writing in the dissertation and ADP process can trip up even the mightiest thinkers. Visit our “Writing the Dissertation & Applied Doctoral Project” resource for help with the ins and outs of your most significant assignment yet.
Whether you are just starting to pursue your undergraduate degree, are working toward a master’s degree, need some assistance with our professional communications, or are diving into your doctoral degree, the Writing Refresher Series will give you the guidance you need to face your next writing challenge.
Written by Louie Centanni, Ashford Writing Center