Check Yourself BEFORE You Wreck Your Essay

Writing - Yes, it's THAT Important

All of us need to learn how to write. Schools know it, your mom knows it, so does the boss you hope to have. Colleges tout the importance of it, some students are graded yearly on it (in our lovely state, students are introduced to the woes of timed essays as early as the 4th grade!) many lives have been changed by it – and the list goes on and on as to the importance our society places on writing. It is a fundamental method of communication that humans have that is uniquely reflective of our culture, values, and belief systems. It is such a simple thing, yet many of us struggle with the basic concepts of writing due to poor education and a lack of emphasis on effective writing skills and strategies. 

Writing. Is. Important.

Okay, so you know that it’s a thing you have to learn – but what if you’re just “bad” at writing?

WRONG!

Repeat after me: You may have not yet been taught to write well, but you will become a successful writer with practice.

 

How to Become a Better Writer

1. Read Great Writers

First things first – to become a better writer, you will first need to practice the art of reading.

Yes, shockingly they both go hand in hand! Oftentimes the readers among us are the writers among us. Authors are consistently sharpening their skills as writers by reading authors they admire. If you wish to become a better writer of research papers, novels, articles, or blogs – you will first need to read those types of essays/books/blogs. Dedicate time to locate specific reasons why those writers are so deggum great at their craft!

 

2. Read What You Write

Okay, so now that you’ve studied what makes good authors readable, you need to know that what you write sounds natural. Oftentimes, students will write an essay without actually *re-reading* their work. Shocking, but true! 

Re-reading will provide you a massive amount of insight into what the teacher sees when approaching your essay. Better yet, give yourself a few days after finishing an essay and re-read it afterward. Ask yourself:
1) Does my central idea make sense?

2) Does my thesis answer the prompt?

3) Are my main points in the thesis supported by topic sentences in the essay?

In the STAAR writing rubrics, a cohesive essay that continues to revisit the central idea are winners! Thoughtfulness can be expounded upon by finding and amplifying specific examples in your life. Essays that are specific are essays that score higher on the STAAR test. 

3. Read Your Essay - Out Loud!

For native English speakers, reading your essay out loud is the best method for checking your grammar. Struggle with object-verb agreement? You will hear your mistakes. Difficulty remembering the a/an rule? Fragments? Run-on sentences? Word Choice? Blog posts or other creative outlets (like social media) can, at times, benefit from stylish use of incorrect grammar, but NOT ACADEMIC ESSAYS.

It takes a considerable amount of time to keep up your grammar. Reading your essays out loud and giving it the good-ole one-through will help tremendously when editing your grammar when crunched for time (like during the STAAR or SAT). Finding a local tutor helps as well. Did you know that Planting Seeds Tutoring & Test Prep offers online and local tutoring for academic writing? Yup – we do!

Would You Benefit from Tutoring?

Would you, or your student, benefit from our in-home or online tutoring offered in Austin, Dallas, Houston and San Antonio? Absolutely! Contact us today to receive information regarding tutoring for English, Reading, Math, Science, History, and Test Prep. Curious about what subjects we teach? Click here to visit our website at www.plantingseedstutoring.com. You can also contact Planting Seeds Tutoring with your questions at (972) 342-6496, or via email at plantingseedstutoring@gmail.com.

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