Write From the Start

Academic writing is an extremely tricky craft. It is not like math where you can teach someone how to use an equation or a concept to solve a problem. It is something that must be practiced in order to improve.  We also recommend reading on a consistent basis as this helps students improve their vocabulary and create different and effective sentence structures. Keep in mind, you will use writing in everyday life. It’s an important and underrated skill.

There are different types of academic writing. There are short response questions on standardized tests, research papers, creative writing stories, and standard and supplemental essays. Whichever one of these the student is working on, the objective remains the same.

The student’s main goal is to answer the question being asked or explain their main objective. To begin, we always recommend creating an outline of how your writing should be formatted. The amount of detail and time that goes into an outline depends on the amount of time you have. If this is a timed essay, make it brief. You do not want to rush your writing and have unnecessary grammar mistakes or make the tone rushed and unclear; however, if this is a research paper, your outline should be extremely detailed.

For a timed essay, having a brief outline gathering your main thoughts and ideas will help you stay on track and help form your writing. With a detailed outline, your research paper will basically write itself.

Creative writing is the most unique. There’s no real structure or guide that you must follow. You don’t have to stay contemporary, you don’t have to use proper grammar, and you don’t have to stay linear. It can be fictitious and does not have to be based on facts.  

Remember, stay clear and consistent in your writing. Do not backpedal as it confuses the reader. Focus on one thing at a time in your writing. Always finish strong and reaffirm your main idea.