Writing of academic articles and term papers has often been a challenge to many students and I am not an exception.
Academically, excellent writing skills aid in getting satisfactory grades. Sadly, I did not only have poor writing skills, but also a poor command of English. To improve my writing, I had to learn how to write proficiently by taking writing skills as an extra unit. Besides allocating more time to my extra unit, I had to do research on ways of improving my writing skills. Tutors at a writing center, my lecturer, and frequent analysis of my low-graded papers assisted in improving my writing. Overcoming the hurdle of my writing inadequacy was not an easy task; however, collaboration between my lecturers and other experts in the writing center proved vital in ameliorating my writing skills especially in organization, spelling/grammar, and the overall quality of my work among others. The first step in improving my writing skills was to analyze my written work critically. I had to rely on other students with strong writing skills to correct my papers.
Most of my term papers had poor grades because of the spelling and grammar mistakes, lack of clarity and poor content. Rarely did the lecturer award any mark on the spelling and grammar slots. For example, the common comments on my papers included, “read your work before submission” or “read widely to improve your grammar”. The last remark on my papers was always “below average”. Consequently, the disheartening comments resulted into terrible low-grades. From the comments and the results of the papers, my education was in crisis. Therefore, I had to read novels widely, and other articles to improve the grammar and spelling. While reading the novels, I had to note the spelling of new words and check their meanings from the dictionary.
The new advanced learner’s dictionary was my companion. Furthermore, I collected papers from my colleagues who performed better in class. Through reading and analyzing their papers, I was able to note the significant difference between the organization and content of their papers with mine.
Eventually, I started receiving positive comments from my lecturer. Secondly, I had to form a positive student-teacher relationship between my teacher and I. with my goals well outlined the lecturer was not hesitant in assisting me in improving my writing skills. The lecturer had to give me extra lessons and assignments to make sure I was picking up his comments. Besides, rewriting my poor graded papers, I had to write extra papers as a practical lesson. At least I had to write a new paper every single day to check on my skills. My lecturer marked all the extra papers instructing me on, which ways to follow. I had to peruse through many English text books to learn about verbs, adverbs, and sentence construction among other issues.
More over, I had to learn on the method of writing different essays (descriptive, expository, and argumentative) from books and read journals to improve my writing. Although I killed my social life to create time for improving my writing skills, my papers started showing better comments. For instance, in one of the assignments I was happy when my lecturer commented, “cogent points”, which meant the paper was not only clear, but also the content was compelling. A clear paper means the audience or reader understands both the language and message of the writer, which is a quality of a good writer. Thirdly, I had to learn on how to organize and construct an academic paper. All papers have a similar format , where the introduction, body and conclusion are mandatory. However, the content of these sections always seemed to be challenging especially in formulating a strong thesis.
The arrangement of the body paragraphs always seemed to be poor. Each paragraph has to have a topic sentence, which describes a specified point. Nevertheless, through continuous practice and reference from other well-written papers, I was able to sail through smoothly. Due to the inability to construct a persuasive paper, I always submitted my assignments late, a fact, which led to the deduction of marks. Even writing a single page seemed tough to me. Nevertheless, currently, I can write more than a 1000 words within two hours and the paper will be devoid of errors. Therefore, the mastering of organization skills as a way of improving my writing has worked miracles. My papers are at per with other top students in my class.
Finally, I had to visit a writing centre to interact with the tutors and to learn from them on how to improve my writing skills. Before giving me a lecture on the basic qualities of a good paper, my tutor asked for my term papers to ascertain my level of skills. He noted all the areas, which needed improvement guiding me on the way forward. For example, to improve my organization ability, he gave me written papers to go read and write the main points in each paragraph. From the small practical, I was able to master on how to organize my papers. On the other hand, the quality of a paper is also a crucial element for a person who has decent writing skills. However, reading a variety of papers and books improves a person’s ability in writing an excellent paper. The last task in the writing centre was to write a 1-page paper on ‘how to improve my writing skills”.
By reading the paper, the tutor at the writing centre wrote comments on how to improve the quality of papers. I can clearly remember a comment in which he said, “read more on tenses”. In my paper, I had mixed both present and past tenses, which is a taboo in English. Finally, I had to read on all English tenses while taking practical exercise on each of them. In a recap, the journey to an excellent has been a tough, but an exciting one. I had to learn from my mistakes to improve my writing skills.
Reading a variety of books was not an exception. Frequent consultations from the expert gave me the way forward. My lecturer and the writing centre are among the people I thank for the excellent writing skills I possess now. Luckily, I was not only quick, but also ready to learn, which enable me to grasp everything that a brilliant writer needs. By taking negative comments positively, I rectified all the mistakes I had made in earlier papers.
When compared to my previous results my papers contain positive comments like, “exemplary or average”. Occasionally, I emerge among the best in my class during assignments. In brief, although I have better writing skills, I still read articles, newspapers, peer reviews and other materials to improve.