For a good majority of students, english and writing majors excluded, writing is a chore. When it comes to being an online student writing can turn into a full-time job, especially considering it’s the main way virtual students communicate. The reason most folks dislike writing is because they think they aren’t good at it, not because they can’t do it.
One way to find your place with writing is by discovering your voice. We all have a unique perspective on our interests, and how we relay information is equally as important as how we retain it. Not everyone writes for pleasure, or for academic sport. No matter where you stand you’ll need to explore where you stand as a writer, if anything to improve your results with classwork.
There are plenty of way to work your writing muscle. Below are just a few you can use to help improve.
- Free Association Writing – Free writing is a timed activity that is writing as much aspossible in a two- to 10-minute time span. You are encouraged to write down anything. You may get a few good ideas or you may get junk, but at least you are writing and letting your ideas come out freely without anyone judging them as right or wrong. Free writing is used frequently by writers who have a “block” where they cannot think of what to write. Here is where you’ll discover your active voice. Is it commanding, or does it sound more mechanical like you’d find in technical writing. Once you know your voice you can play to your strengths by playing with the formatting of your papers and how you layout information.
- The Art of Reading – Good readers make good writers. Take time to read a good book, whether it’s one your teacher suggests, a book version of your favorite film, or a book written by your favorite author. Reading enables you to develop your vocabulary and helps to strengthen your stylistic ability to write creatively.
- Journal Writing – Journaling is a form of self-expression that millions take advantage of on a daily basis. Journaling is easy to do and creative as well. What you write could explain anything from what you did that day, to how those events made you feel, to ideas for your future, to venting frustrations about life. In some cases, people rely on journals to help them remember what they did a week ago and even to remember what the state of the world was at the time of the writing. It’s up to you whether you share the ideas or feelings you write down with anyone else.
If you’re still unsure of your abilities seek help from a tutor, or email your instructor. They’ll be able to evaluate what your weaknesses are and ways to improve them.
By J. Mason