Grasping the idea of writing


Writing is easy. All you have to do is put words into sentences and stick them together to make paragraphs. Just pray that your professor doesn’t criticize your work as a conversation between robots at a cocktail party. But I’m pretty sure someone reading this is throwing their hands in the air to say “What in the world are you talking about?” right now so let’s try that again.

Writing is hard. There are so many things you have to consider and every error can make a big difference. Even when you think you are getting better at it, you always get back a bunch of self-esteem-lowering scribbles. So what can be done to make those scribbles appear in smaller quantities?

Well, the easiest thing to do is look over your work. Make sure things like spelling, names of places, and even your citations are correct.  If you think your spellchecker will catch all your mistakes, this is not always the case — some errors will make it through. For instance, the word you misspelled might be another word in the same language, like there and their. Another thing you should do is check names of places and people. Names might especially be unrecognizable by spellcheck (for example, my name) and messing up the name of a place can either result in referencing a non-existent or completely different place. I’d talk about punctuation, but it’s really not hard to find out how punctuation works.

Another suggestion is to fix your sentences. If you repeat a word, get a thesaurus, but don’t use giant words because they might confuse people. If you use words that may not be common, be sure to define it. Also, note the length of your sentences. If a sentence is long enough to fill half a page in length, it probably needs to be cut into a few sentences or rewritten. Make sure your writing is concise. If you ramble on too much, you may end up losing your point. You should also take note of the style you’re writing in. Are you writing for a formal setting? Then you shouldn’t using too many “I”s or conjunctions. Even if you’re writing in a formal style, you should be writing in the active voice and with flowing sentences since it will make your writing better.

The best thing you should do is get someone to look over your writing for you. Everyone is biased about their own work, so another perspective is always worth it. Even this piece is getting proofread before going online since I’m not perfect. Maybe now your writing will sound less like a conversation between two robots and more like a person talking awkwardly to a robot at a cocktail party. Just remember to keep on writing! 


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