If you want to become a better academic writer, then you should really follow these 3 key pieces of advice. Always work from an outline, pay special attention to formatting rules, and take the time to review and edit your work. By doing these three things student writers can dramatically improve the quality of their work and in turn earn better grades on their writing assignments.
Many students share the belief that using an outline is a waste of time. However, the truth is that when you work with an outline you can actually save yourself time. This is because the outline is where you lay out all of your ideas and research points. It is also where you can begin to structure your paper and map out how your composition will go.
Papers that have been written from outline are generally more concise and focused. They usually are briefer and clear. Using an outline to help you write is just one of the ways that you can improve your academic writing skills.
Whether you are working in APA or MLA pay attention to the specific formatting rules. Failing to properly format your academic writing can cost you grade points. Making a simple formatting error is a silly reason to lose percentages. We recommend investing in an APA or MLA handbook so that you can easily look up the very specific formatting rules.
Also, make sure you don’t confuse the different types of formatting. If it doesn’t say specifically in your assignment that to use, take the time clarify with your instructors.
No academic writing project is finished until the proofreading and editing process is over. This is a part of the writing process that many students neglect. Sadly, not taking the time to review and edit your paper can also cost you grades.
Instead of getting excited because you are done and rushing to hand your paper in, take the time to go over it very carefully. Editing should include looking for grammar and punctuation errors. It should also involve removing parts of the paper and refining it to be more polished.
We recommend giving yourself an extra day before the assignment is due so that you can sleep on it and come back to your paper with a fresh mind. This will make editing much easier and help to improve the overall quality of your finished paper.