7 Basic Writing Skills to Develop/ Oct 10
Essay writing is claimed to develop students’ writing skills. However ‘writing skills’ is a general term for a lot of minor basic skills that are included in the process of writing. No matter what is the type of writing or the purpose of essay. Whether your essay is to motivate someone to do something, bring attention to a specific situation in your surrounding, or to deal with specific responsibilities, you’ll need to develop some definite skills in order for your writing to be effective enough to hit the mark.
Knowing the topic and being familiar with guidelines and formatting samples doesn’t mean you have strong writing skills. Of course, essay writing aims to reveal your knowledge on the topic and prove your ability to express opinion. However, effective writing is much more than that. To write effectively, students should pay attention to different aspects of writing and develop basic writing skills.
1. Narrowing the Topic
Writing is not only about putting the words together and making the correct sentences. Writing is a skill to convey ideas and reach goals in written form. That is why choosing the topic for writing is an important skill to direct your writing to the necessary target. In many cases, the topic of your essay will be chosen for you, but it doesn’t mean you have no freedom to choose what to write about. Narrowing the topic is the ability to choose particular thesis you are going to expose in your writing, and finding only relevant facts to prove your points. No matter how general the topic is you can find something withing it you’re passionate about, and focus on several points. Of course, you have to consider the type of paper you’re expected to write and the details you are expected to deliver.
Eventually, your choice of topic should fulfill the purpose of essay and cover the essay prompt if there is any. So make sure you carefully evaluate each idea and meet the criteria laid out in your assignment. Narrowing the topic will help you stick to the point and avoid being too verbose or failing to convey the main idea.
2. Organizing Your Thoughts
Again, this skill seems to have nothing to do with actually writing, but this is an important skill you will need in any writing process. This means that being able to write an effective outline will be essential to bring out the message in a clear and concise format. Learning how to lay your ideas out in a logical and coherent way that naturally progresses from one point to another is the key for developing your ideas in writing. Knowing how to write an outline is a primary skill needed to keep your paper organized.
3. Writing a Thesis Statement
Once you’ve decided on a topic, the next step will be to develop the argument you want to present. By reviewing your outline you should be able to choose which point you want to concentrate on within your chosen topic. Choose one that you have the most data to support and use that information to formulate a thesis statement you can defend.
4. Writing Introduction
Learning how to write effective introductions will give you the ability to draw the reader in and prepare them to the information you want to present. Your introduction should be able to lay the groundwork for everything that is to come. They should know the who, what, when, where, why, and how of the topic before you can logically expect them to join in and entertain your particular point of view.
5. Writing topic sentences and transitions
It is also important to know how to develop the body of the paper in a logical order. Each phase should be a progression that extends from the one previous to it. This means that the writing should have a natural flow to it. Each main point you laid out in your outline should make up at least one paragraph in your essay.
Each paragraph should have its one main sentence, followed by supporting sentences for each point. Learning how to elaborate within that given topic can make your message stand out. If you have successfully mastered writing an outline, this skill will be a natural progression from that skill.
6. Writing the Conclusion
The conclusion of your essay should help the reader to sum up your main ideas, embrace your particular point of view and develop their own perspective on the given topic. It should not only bring into focus the main points you want to bring out but it should also include some motivation for the reader to do or act on something specific. It should be more than a summary of the topics on hand but should help the reader to connect with you and the topic being discussed.
7. Error-Free Writing
On the one hand – nothing is perfect. On the other – practise makes perfect. Learn to write clean and pay attention to details. Do not submit your writing without thorough revision, or it looks like a disrespect for the professor who has to grade the ‘draft’. Don’t simply rely on spell check software to find your mistakes. These systems are not full proof and are likely going to miss a few things that need correction. Developing good editing skills will go a long way in ensuring that you turn in an essay worth reading. If you are not 100% sure that you can pay enough attention to proofread your writing, ask someone who can take a fresh look at it and see all the slight mistakes and typos. Polish your writing until you can’t find the slightest flaw. Remember that no matter what idea is put in your essay, it will be neglected if the grammar and spelling is poor.