Academic writing is much different from personal messenger correspondence, social media posts, and stories. Students must be able to communicate their thoughts clearly, intelligibly, persuasively, and expressively. Many high school graduates often worry about the difficulty of academic writing and doubt their abilities. We talked to experts from the academic writing service at essayshark.com and gathered their tips to help students improve their writing skills and not be afraid to hold a pen.
Get Rid Of The Fear Of A Blank Page
We’ve all faced that fear. We open a blank document, and there is not a single thought in our head. Sometimes there are ideas, but they seem worthless. We often write the first sentence, erase it, write it again, but never get the wording we want. There are many reasons why this happens: not enough thoughts and collected materials on the topic, lack of a plan, perfectionist paralysis, lack of the proper intonation, no motivation, etc. Don’t be afraid of a blank page. It happens to everyone. What do you need to do to overcome this fear?
- Study the subject;
- Make an outline and structure so that the work answers the main question posed;
- Remember that you can always rewrite an imperfect sentence and correct mistakes.
Always Compile A Plan
Making a plan not only takes away the fear of a blank page but also helps you save time. Having a plan helps you stick to your ideas as you write your paper and not get bogged down in spontaneous thoughts. According to professors, the structure of an academic paper is one of the most important elements and one of the most common mistakes students make. Without a clearly spelled out text structure, you will not be able to present your arguments and reasoning convincingly and logically.
Always Use A Dictionary
Students often use words in the wrong connotation. Experts advise you always to use only words and phrases that you are sure of. If you have the slightest doubt about the meaning of a word, you should always double-check it in a dictionary.
Avoid Using Cliches
Always try to choose vocabulary and grammatical structures that are appropriate to the style. The primary purpose of academic writing is to inform and express your vision and opinion to readers. Excessive use of metaphors and literary cliches can distract the audience from the content of the paper.
Introduce References and Citations Correctly
Citing sources correctly is a real pain for many students. In fact, you just need to know what reference style to use and follow its rules and requirements.
Always try to write your essay a few days before the deadline. Why? This way, you can always leave yourself enough time to proofread and correct your work. Effective proofreading of your work should ideally take place a day or two after writing. This ensures a fresh look and that you have already taken a break from the text and have forgotten it a bit. Try to develop the ability to read your work with a fresh and critical eye and put yourself in the reader’s shoes. Read aloud and make sure you can read one sentence in one breath. If you suddenly run out of air, you obviously need to divide the sentences into several smaller ones.
Incorrect use of punctuation is unlikely to show you in a favorable light in front of your teacher. The semi-colon, colon, and dash usually cause the most trouble for students. Consult the punctuation rules before using any of them.
Mind Your Grammar
Poor grammar can spoil even the most brilliant ideas. Incorrect use of tenses, confusing singular and plural forms, misusing prepositions and definite articles, and inappropriate use of capital letters can obscure any idea. If you feel that grammar is your weak point, you have several options:
- consult friends and ask them to proofread your paper for grammatical mistakes (only if they are good in grammar);
- open a book with grammar rules and finally learn them;
- use one of the grammar checkers available online.
However, you should keep in mind that a tool or a friend will help you during tests and exams. We believe that the second option is the most promising one.
Use Active Voice
The active voice adds significance to everything you say and makes your work look more imposing and convincing. The reader immediately knows who did the action and is not confused by anything. An active voice seems to transform a call to action into a command. Of course, you can’t always avoid the passive voice, but try to do it whenever you can.
Every time you make a statement, consider whether you will have enough evidence to back it up. The reader expects confirmation or disproof of every statement you make, so leave the unproven hypotheses to the scientists to prove and look for vivid arguments to support your claims.
We hope that our simple ten pieces of advice will help you improve your academic writing. Always keep a dictionary on your table, and don’t be afraid of a blank page. Good luck!