8 Strategies for Improving Student Writing

Writing is difficult for many. Not all of us are well capable of expressing our thoughts on paper, making it informative and interesting to read at the same time. While some people are able to avoid writing most of the time, students usually aren’t so lucky. They receive many writing assignments regularly, and completing them can become nearly impossible for those who struggle with their writing all the time.

However, there is something you can do in order to change that. It doesn’t matter whether you are a teacher or a student – these 8 tips can help you improve student writing greatly.

  1. Shorten sentences.

The shorter, the better – that’s the rule when it comes to writing. Short sentences are easier to read and understand, they tend to be more specific and deliver your point of view more effectively. Of course, not all sentences have to be short and there is no clear definition of “short”, but you should still try to make them as laconic as possible while saving their meaning at the same time.

  1. Don’t forget about grammar.

Grammar is a tough subject for many students. However, these days it is much easier to improve your grammar and make your writing stronger. There are so many apps that help check spelling and punctuation and there are even some of those that give you stylistic suggestions as well. All you have to do is to not only correct the mistakes but also remember the tips and rules these apps provide you with – and your grammar will certainly improve with time.

  1. Write a plan first.

It doesn’t matter what you’re writing – an essay, a term paper, or an article: a plan still has to be written first. It not only helps you build the necessary structure but also ensures that you won’t miss something and makes the whole writing process much easier. All you have to do after you wrote the plan is to follow it: this will help you save time on thinking “What should I write next?”.

  1. Extra reading is always good.

We are overflowed with information these days and so, reading might seem like a tiring thing to do to many. However, it’s the reading that helps us become better writers and express our thoughts better. And I’m not talking only about classic literature here – you can read modern one too. So, choose the books you might enjoy and start reading!

  1. Analyze and discuss.

Not all of us actually have time and opportunity to reflect on our writing. However, this is a necessary thing to do if you want to write better. You can discuss writing with your teacher or professor, with your friends or fellow students, noticing all the details and flaws. You can do that on your own too, analyzing your writing and trying to understand why did you choose these words and arguments in the first place, and so on.

  1. Use the words you know.

Using the words that are supposed to make you look smarter is one of the most common errors in students writing. Not all students actually understand the exact meaning of the words they want to use for this purpose, which might lead to some very confusing mistakes. While your writing doesn’t have to be primitive, you should still choose the words that are familiar to you.

  1. Take your time.

This could be hard when the deadlines are close, but the more time you spend on writing, the better it will become. Sometimes students’ writing is poor not because their skills are bad, but because they rush too much with the whole writing process.

  1. Always edit.

The earlier you start working on your writing assignment, the more time you will have to edit it. Editing is a must: it not only helps in eliminating grammar mistakes but also improves your writing. You can notice weak arguments and logical flaws during the editing process, correct them, and make your paper much better this way.

While strong writing skills do develop with time, these simple tips will help you improve your writing a bit very quickly.


4 Essential Problems Encountered in Writing a Dissertation

Writing a dissertation is, without a doubt, one of the most important moments in the life of any student. This type of academic paper is not something to be taken lightly, as it requires a great deal of research and, before anything, must be 100% original. Unless you do it right, you won’t be able to get your Ph.D. Still, the sad reality is that a lot of students simply don’t know how to write a dissertation properly. And who can blame them – after all, the majority of graduates are facing such a task for the very first time. Virtually all students need to deal with a series of common problems throughout the process of writing a dissertation. To help you out with this challenge, we’ll talk about the 4 most essential dissertation-related problems that any graduate student encounters sooner or later, and we’ll offer you some useful tips on how to overcome them.

1. Phrasing an Adequate Thesis Statement

Coming up with a thesis statement that is in conformity with the aim of the study is the first and perhaps the hardest issue you may run into. A dissertation paper must reflect your originality and should include relevant data and conclusions. This is why you shouldn’t opt for a topic that is very universal or very delicate. The more general the topic is, the harder it will be for you to find conclusive evidence!

A suitable thesis statement needs to be particular, separate and determinate. If you wish to simplify things and avoid sleepless nights, choose a topic in relation to which you can easily formulate arguments pro and against. To do so, you may need to narrow things down from general to particular. Keep in mind that a dissertation statement must be debatable and must generate conflicting opinions and interpretations.

2. Writing a Pertinent Literature Review

Any dissertation paper must include a literature review section, which should provide an extensive evaluation and analysis of other academic works that approach your topic. In general, this section has a length of 15-30 pages. To fill up so many pages, you need to browse through a large number of sources and combine the information in a methodical manner. To find relevant works, you could either search through an online database or go to a library.

Always remember that your supervisor wants to see that you possess good analytical skills and that you are well-acquainted with the study topic. To achieve the desired effect and impress your professors, you should generally avoid using too many direct quotations or summarizing the information presented in other works. Also, keep in mind that the literature review section must not include any personal opinions – this part of your dissertation has the sole purpose of analyzing the relevant literature from an objective perspective! Last but not least, never forget that you must include references to all of the analyzed works.

3. Finding Suitable Data

Another common issue that a lot of graduates encounter is identifying pertinent data that can be used to back and strengthen the arguments presented in the paper. When writing a dissertation, you can either utilize primary data or opt for secondary data. Gathering primary data involves methods like surveys, telephonic interviews or focus groups. Therefore, if you plan on using primary data, you need to be prepared to spend a certain amount of time and money. On the other hand, secondary data can be collected from third-party sources, such as governmental or non-governmental organizations.

It can be very disappointing to acknowledge that you don’t possess enough relevant information once you get to the methodology part of your dissertation. To steer clear of such an outcome, you need to make sure that the data you are thinking of using can be collected from the secondary sources. When collecting info from questionnaires, pay attention to how you formulate your questions!

4. Managing Time

Graduates are usually granted plenty of time for writing their dissertation papers. Precisely because students feel like they have a lot of time on their hands, they often don’t bother to plan it adequately. And if you don’t devise a proper schedule, you may be tempted to procrastinate more than you should and, before you know it, you’ll get closer and closer to the deadline. This can eventually generate a lot of stress and anxiety.

The best way to ensure that you have a hold on the situation at all times is by planning your paper in advance, assigning small portions of work for each day. As a word of caution, you should know that the professors in charge of supervising your paper may not always reply to your emails on time and may often ask you to change things in your work. So, when planning a schedule, make sure you leave enough time for such delays.