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Writing Tips for College Students From One Who Knows

Posted in [College] By Church Hill Classics
by Gabriella Ranieri, former CHC intern, and English major and graduate of Southern Connecticut State University

Although the first semester of the 2012-2013 school year is coming to an end at colleges and universities all across the country, and term papers are getting their final touches, these writing tips are worth keeping in mind for now and in the future.  Any writer can benefit from these tips, which are from someone who loves to write. Former Marketing intern, Gabriella Ranieri who majored in English, and graduated from Southern Connecticut State University is at your service! 

What can I write about? How am I going to say everything I want to say in x amount of pages? What's going to make anyone want to read this? These are only a few questions that might arise when someone is faced with the daunting task of writing, but sometimes it's as simple as getting out of your own head and just letting instinct kick in. Here are a some steps that can help any writer when they feel stumped:

Useful Tips for Any Writer

  • Step 1: Go with your gut reactions. They are often the most engaging.
  • Step 2: Write your ideas down as soon as they come to you, because you never want to give yourself the chance to forget them → multiple drafts.
  • Step 3: Don’t concern yourself with perfect grammar right away because you can always go back and insert what sounds best later.
  • Step 4: Make sure YOUR unmistakable voice is what's seen on the page because your unique/original thoughts are the key components to writing a thought-provoking paper.
  • Step 5: Push the envelope and make people care! No one wants to read the same boring drab that thousands of other students have written.

There seems to be two types of writers: those who have no problem filling pages because they cannot minimize, and those who cannot reach the number of pages required because they have nothing left to say.

Tips for the Overindulgent Writer

For those of you who constantly ask yourselves how am I going to say everything with such a little amount of room, remember conciseness and precision will never do you wrong.  This is why professors give limitations; they want you to get to the point. Here are some key steps for you:

  • Step 1: Edit and Filter, no matter how painful it might be. 
  • Step 2: Once you find something that even slightly strays from the topic assigned, Get rid of it!
  • Step 3:  Use a thesaurus. Redundancy is not compelling and it’s very easily spotted.
  • Step 4: Keep it simple, meaning avoid convolution not the use of elevated language.

research paper

 Unhindered by Talent via Photo Pin cc

Tips for the Inhibited Writer
  

For those of you that fall under the latter category, who truly believe you've addressed all the issues at hand and cannot possibly elaborate any more, here are some useful tips: 

  • Step 1: Never assume the reader knows what you are talking about.
  • Step 2: Explain and develop each core idea.
  • Step 3: Go even further and explain a little more. - You never want the reader to question where you’re coming from or where you’re going.
  • Step 4: Insert relevant quotes and articles. (Great way to fill up pages)
  • Step 5: Analyze the entries from step 4 in depth.


 These writing tips will come in handy for your years at college, when you graduate, and always!

And remember:

"You only learn to be a better writer by actually writing."   ~ Doris Lessing

Other Church Hill Classics Blogs of interest:

Resume Writing
Strange College Classes that REALLY do Exist
How's the Proofing?
New Year's Wish for You - An Exceptional Essay

Other sites of interest -

Doris Lessing: A Retrospective
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