7 Ways to Practice Essay Writing Skills Outside of College
Whether an individual is a college student or a working professional, they must hone their essay writing skills because it’s a form of communication that they will use for the rest of their life. For instance, anyone working could be asked to create blog posts, compose marketing emails, and more. Usually, suppose people are adept at being a wordsmith and penning their thoughts to paper. In that case, these skills will also translate to good verbal communication since they can organize and express their ideas more seamlessly.
Besides, writing is one of the essential talents anyone could have on their resume, so getting a handle on this skill could be beneficial for someone’s career. Sadly, composing written work is quite intimidating for many individuals, especially those who don’t write regularly. But here’s some great news. Those who want to flex their writing prowess don’t have to find it agonizing since they can improve as long as they are willing to learn. Here are a few ways people can practice their essay-writing skills outside of college.
1. Work With a Writing Buddy
Those who work in a company can find more experienced colleagues to be their mentors. Similarly, college students or those about to graduate can also seek guidance from older professionals. Those who wish to improve can always find someone willing to examine their work to spot any errors they may have overlooked. Although writing is typically a solitary endeavor, even the most professional writers value feedback.
Remember, writing is like a muscle, so individuals must continually flex it for the skill to grow and develop. Although it could feel frustrating to edit, and someone may end up wondering why I have to rewrite my essay again, this activity is what paves the way for improvement. Asking for a buddy critique is a great way to stay motivated and keep on hustling. And having this partner makes people more accountable.
2. Learn the Basic Principles
Whether submitting an essay for an academic requirement or drafting written material for a job, they must have a good understanding and strong command of the basic writing principles. It’s the only way they can create something they feel confident enough to show others.
They don’t have to enroll in classes because many resources are available. Anyone can use them to their advantage to become a more proficient writer. Those who need help becoming better writers must take note of the following:
Read Strunk and White’s “The Elements of Style Book” to learn basic grammar and syntax.
The Grammar Girl website is also beneficial for those who want to write credible content.
Make writing a daily exercise with journal prompts to hone skills.
Brush up on vocabulary by learning five new words daily from the Merriam-Webster dictionary.
3. Do This Like It’s a Profession
As a rule of thumb, practice is essential for anyone who wants to get better at doing something. This concept applies to writing, so there’s no shortcut that could make a person into a prolific author overnight. Even the most talented wordsmiths learned their craft through years of perseverance and practice.
Those who wish to improve their skills must keep composing essays regularly. Doing so will help diminish the fear of facing a blinking cursor or a blank page. Moreover, consistent practice will allow individuals to foster their unique voices and style. Even if nobody reads their written work, it’s okay because, as cliche, as it may sound, practice makes perfect.
All the greatest writers in the world will tell anyone wishing to be an author to read if they desire to improve their craft. Immersing in books and other reading materials like blog posts or online articles will expand your horizons. Reading will make them more aware of the following:
Take note of sentence construction
Examine paragraph structure
See the nuances of word choices
Experience how each material flows
Take note of the clarity
Whether it’s a pleasure reading or pouring over assigned documents, it’s good to be exposed to tons of materials. That’s because the more someone reads, the more exposed they are to words and elements of effective writing. As a result, they could eventually develop an eye and assess what makes a particular piece effective. At the same time, they will also be able to see what mistakes to avoid.
5. Dissect Favorite Pieces
Voracious readers usually love reading the same author or online sites regularly because they find the content appealing. However, few people understand why these have grown into their favorites. Those who wish to improve their writing skills must dissect these pieces. It would help to do the following:
Select frequently read blog posts or articles and print them.
Take a highlighter or red pen to highlight catchy sentences or phrases
Check common themes in these reading materials
Assess how writers use transition words to change the subject
Apply these same techniques to their work
6. Imitate Good Writers
As the saying goes, imitation is the sincerest form of flattery. But take note that this is vastly different from plagiarizing content. It’s never okay for anyone to rip off someone’s hard work, but aspiring writers can seek inspiration from their beloved authors.
Using effective elements in someone else’s work and giving it a unique spin is acceptable. Those who wish to improve their writing skills can identify what they enjoy and use these to spice up their work. Seeing how others construct their essays is very helpful as it always gives a burst of inspiration.
7. Join a Workshop or Class
Finally, those who are serious about honing their writing skills can take a class or workshop. Finding a good one with an excellent teacher is both fun and helpful. Workshop attendees meet a lot of people who they can learn from. Usually, the group will select a topic, and attendees are given time to write. After, there’s time for feedback and revisions for improvement.
Those who wish to develop better essay writing skills can improve with consistent practice. After college, anyone will use these skills, from preparing presentations to emailing. Improving these skills means that people can convey clear and correct messages. In turn, it means you can create positive change in your workplace.