Becoming a better writer doesn't have to be a chore. A little bit of practice each day will add up to positive results over time.
You likely encounter assignments that require writing in nearly every one of your classes. That being said, it’s important to find ways to consistently improve your writing skills. It might sound too simple to be true, but a little bit of practice each day will add up to positive results over time. Growing your vocabulary, setting aside time in your routine for reading, and experimenting with various writing styles are just a few daily habits that can help you strengthen your writing.
Are you looking for ways to improve your writing abilities? Keep reading to learn five daily habits that can help you strengthen your writing skills.
1. Expand your vocabulary
Strong vocabulary skills are key to a successful piece of writing. Finding the best word to precisely describe something or convey a feeling can make all the difference between a good and a stand-out piece of work. There are many ways you can work toward an improved vocabulary each day, including using a word of the day calendar or visiting websites like Merriam-Webster for a daily dose of new vocabulary words.
2. Incorporate reading into your daily routine
Reading is a great way to grow your vocabulary skills and strengthen your writing. Set aside a block of time each day for focused reading, using any medium that suits you best. Various types of writing styles—such as fiction, nonfiction, news articles, classic literature, and academic journals—are all different in the language style they use. By reading a wide variety of things, you’ll have the best chance to learn new words and see them in different contexts. You’ll also be exposed to a variety of writing styles and pick up new techniques to try yourself.
3. Practice your editing skills
It can be challenging to review your writing and give honest critiques. One of the best ways to strengthen your writing skills, though, is to reread your piece of work and revise it where necessary. Note that rarely is anyone’s first draft the best reflection of their writing abilities. When reviewing your work, be honest with yourself about areas you can improve. You may notice, for example, that your writing tends to be lengthy and lack a clear focus. If this is the case, challenge yourself to review your first draft and reduce your overall word count by 10 percent in an effort to streamline your language.
4. Experiment with different writing styles
Writing is like any other skill—you’ll only get better with practice. A great way to improve your abilities is to expand on the styles of writing you use. Think about something you really want to write, such as a blog or a personal essay, and dedicate specific time in your daily schedule to experiment with these new styles. One method some find beneficial is to write three pages every day—it doesn’t matter what it’s about, the goal is to simply spend this time writing.
5. Accept constructive feedback
Do you have a friend or family member who’s a strong writer or editor? Enlist their help to strengthen your skills and review pieces of work you’ve written. Whether it’s a school assignment or personal blog, having a peer review your work can benefit you in many ways. It can be helpful to have a second set of eyes on your writing, as others may catch mistakes that you’ve missed. Additionally, graciously accepting constructive criticism of your work can help you note specific aspects of your writing that could use extra attention.
When working to improve your writing skills, it’s valuable to incorporate reading into your daily routine, branch out to use different writing styles, and thoughtfully accept constructive feedback from peers. If you’re dedicated to strengthening your writing abilities, you should see positive results in no time.
Lora Wegman is a contributing writer for Varsity Tutors, a live learning platform that connects students with personalized instruction to accelerate academic achievement.