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developing good writing skills
|Developing Good Writing
How Reading Can Help You Write
"If you want to write well. . . read, read, and then read some more. Read
good writing. Read bad writing. Learn to know the difference. Note for simplicity
of style: noun, verb, object; noun, verb, object. It worked for Hemingway,
who often said that his ultimate goal was to create the perfect sentence.
Read some Hemingway, and not just his novels, but some of his early newspaper
writing. There's never been better news and feature writing, ever. When you
read the works of these and other fine writers, notice the simplicity of
their language and how they vary their sentence structure and length. Some
sentences number two or three words; others run an entire paragraph. There
are countless tips on writing well, but I leave you with this one: read first,
|- By Bill Reed
|Learn to Write Well
"Writing can be a drag . . . especially if you don't think you're very good
at it. It's a skill, however, that you need to develop in order to be competitive
in today's society. While you're a student, take the time to learn to write
well. Take more than the required English and writing courses. I'd be willing
to bet you'll find these classes to be quite valuable when you try to find
and keep a job after graduation. And don't worry if you end up having trouble
in these classes. You can always enlist the help of the good folks at the
Writing Center. And one more thing . . . a good way to practice your writing
without the stress of a grade hanging over your head, is to take part in
extra-curricular activities that involve writing."
|- By Emily Sinsabaugh
|Writing a Paper or Researching
an Assignment? Start Early
"Let's face it. We are all afraid of writing papers. We procrastinate until
the night before that essay or reserach assignment is due. We then write
as the night passes in the hope that some sort of last-minute inspiration
will light down from the heavens, the clouds will dissipate and the sun will
poke its head above the horizon, and the rivers will gush forth those wonderfully
profound ideas that have hidden themselves in the darkness. Beautifully as
all this sounds, it does not happen without a great deal of advance preparation.
What does happen is that we ofen compose into the wee hours of the morning,
and as the clock ticks on, we get progressively tired--so tired that we do
a sloppy job. We forget to proofread, or when we do we are so tired of the
paper that we cannot see convoluted ideas, faulty reasoning, and missing
commas. We submit the paper with a prayer and hope for the best. And when
we get that unsatisfactory grade, we vow that we will NEVER again put things
off until the last minute. How do we accomplish this? I have several suggestions:
1. Get started on the paper the day that it is assigned. This doesn't
mean that one actually start writing the paper but rather it means that you
at least think about the topic. Take a small pad of paper so that you can
jot down ideas. Keep a journal that you can draw upon for that interesting
perspective toward the topic.
2. Start writing the rough draft at least a week before the assignment
In this way, you leave yourself plenty of time to walk away from
the paper when the going gets tough. Often, a short break--a trip to the
snackshop, or a game of PacMan--will clear your mind so that you can begin
to write again.
3. Go the Center for Writing. It is often important that we talk our
ideas out before we can get them clearly on paper. Important to this process
is a basic knowledge of those who will read your paper.
What do they already know?
What do they need to know?
What terms or concepts do you need to explain?
What connections do you need to make?
A conference with a writing tutor in your Writing Center can often help you
to clarify those issues. If you cannot get ideas down on paper, bring your
notes and talk your ideas out with the tutors so that you can get concepts
down clearly on the page. If you can't tell a comma from a semicolon, have
the tutor help you sort out those tricky rules of grammar. The Center for
Writing can help you out at any point in the research and writing process.
Writing need not be a terrible agonizing process, and you need not write
papers the night before. Hopefully, thinking about the paper right away,
getting a draft written at least before, and getting help in the Center for
Writing will get you that good grade next time you have to write a paper."
|- By Bob Holderer
|The Rest of the Story
"I used to think that successful writers must be naturally gifted creatures
who always managed to get everything right the first time. That's why I'd
lie to friends in college when they asked me how much time I'd spend on a
paper. "An hour or so,?" I'd shrug--when really it was more like ten. It
wasn't until years later that I learned even geniuses like Virginia Woolf
and Ernest Hemingway spent incredible amounts of time writing and rewriting
and polishing their work. So take a tip from geniuses and non-geniuses alike.
When you know you've got a writing project due, start early. Don't think
of your trash can as an enemy, but as a hungry pet that likes to be fed
regularly. Then take what's left--the good stuff--polish it up like a genie's
lamp, and sit back and hope for what all writers hope for: a magical connection
with your reader."
|- By Russell Chamberlain
|Hip Hop to the Writing Lab
"The writing lab is where you go for success. Success equals "A's" and I'm
alright with that. The writing lab is where I go to succeed. Develop papers
that will meet the teachers need. They will critique and help you form a
thesis that is sweet. Develop structure in your paper. Bring your skills
to peak, so don't procrastinate. Don't debate. Just go to the lab to correct
your mistakes on the grammatical tip their crew is tight. So don't worry
about failure, because that's no where in sight. So use the facilities and
you'll be a writing skill master just wait and see."
|- By Richard Snow
"Read choose anything, but read something. Keeping a focus on the way others
conform words in a sentence. Start keeping a daily calender so you don't
forget the assignments' due and other events that could be an issue if not
reviewing your material. Write constantly, in doing this you keep your skills
in writing on top shape. An exercise for the mind and vocabulary skills intact."
|- Andrea Michelle Jones
Since December 1999 - last modified: October 09, 2008