When you assess your writing, you are committing to improve it. Your commitment to improve will certainly include making adjustments to papers and correcting errors. However, assessing your writing can also motivate you to practice writing. As with anything, practicing will help your writing improve. Below are a series of habits that can help as you practice your writing skills.
Watch for patterns of strengths and weaknesses in your writing. Learn how to build on your strengths and address your weaknesses. Then, consciously and methodically work on improving them.
By understanding how other writers have succeeded in writing effectively, you can improve your skills and strategies. Keep a notebook of writing samples that includes your notations about what works and what does not.
Work methodically on your writing, focusing on specific skills each time you write a paper. Keep a journal or course notebook so you can practice writing in a specific discipline. Do not wait until the last minute to work on your writing assignments.
Some courses require you to keep a journal or notebook with questions, case-study discussions, or laboratory notes. Use these opportunities to practice writing topic sentences, thesis statements, and major and minor supports. Practice writing effective sentences in a unified paragraph, or practice freewriting. Use these shorter assignments as warm‑ups for the longer research papers.
When you participate in a group assignment, volunteer to take minutes or write summaries of group discussions. Produce written proceedings of oral presentations. Ask your instructor for extra credit for writing extra papers.
All writing courses, including creative writing, will help you improve your writing skills. Take a variety of writing courses to help you broaden your vocabulary, style, sentence structure, organization, and critical thinking skills.
Many professional organizations offer short writing courses to help you learn new skills or new kinds of writing. Other organizations offer Internet-based courses to teach new writing skills, review grammar, and build vocabulary.
Keep tabs of your writing plan and your improvement. Set aside 10 or 15 minutes daily to review what you are focusing on and practicing; set aside another 10 or 15 minutes to practice it. Set goals to learn a new writing skill each week or month.
By reading good writing, you will be able to identify solid writing models and improve your sentence structure, spelling, punctuation, and vocabulary.
Reading will help you write better. However, you should also practice what you have learned. Take every opportunity to practice effective techniques you have noticed while reading.