Daily Writing Tips for High School Students
Posted on March 06 2020
Writing isn’t one of those skills you learn in school and never use again — it’s a skill you’ll use for the rest of your life, no matter what you do.
In fact, Forbes recently called writing “the most important skill in business.”
“Business is fundamentally about getting other people to do things — getting employees to be productive, customers to buy your product or service, government to leave you alone — and you can’t make these things happen if you can’t communicate well,” wrote Forbes journalist Jeff Bradford. “Communication can take many forms, such as video, speaking, phone calls, illustration, texting, email, signage, advertising, blogging, publicity and others. Doing any of these well requires good writing skills.”
So how do you start developing strong writing skills? Here are three steps to try!
HIGH SCHOOL WRITING IMPROVEMENT STEP 1: USE A GRAMMAR CHECKER
“Every semester, I see students with atrocious writing skills, and when I tell them this, they are shocked,” a university writing professor recently told us. “They’ve never received anything but praise for their writing before. They honestly didn’t know they were so bad.”
Great writing is certainly subjective; some people might love what you write and some people might not. But good writing — writing that respects basic fundamentals of spelling, punctuation and grammar — isn’t subjective at all.
Believe it or not, few teachers point out every mistake their students make. They don’t have time. That’s why you need to use a grammar checker, like this free tool from Scribens.
HIGH SCHOOL WRITING IMPROVEMENT STEP 2: ACCEPT THE CHALLENGE OF LEARNING THE RULES
When a grammar checker has identified an error, it’s not enough to simply correct the problem. If you don’t learn why you made the mistake in the first place, you’ll make it again. And again. And again!
You might be interested in this example, it is a comma splice.
Do you know what a comma splice is? If so, great — you can fix it. If you don’t know, however, it’s no big deal. You just need to learn the rule.
For that, let us introduce you to our favorite grammarian: Mignon “Grammar Girl” Fogarty. She has provided free, online tutorials for all of the most common writing mistakes – including comma splices!
HIGH SCHOOL WRITING IMPROVEMENT STEP 3: KEEP A LIST OF YOUR MOST COMMON MISTAKES
“That” is one of the most overused words in the English language.
For example: “She thought that she was a good writer,” could just as easily be written as “She thought she was a good writer.”
A lot of writing teachers hate the word “that” when it is used without purpose. But the unnecessary “that” is a really hard word to eliminate from our writing, because many of us use it in daily conversational speech.
“I’ve been a professional writer for 20 years,” the professor told us, “and I still use ‘that’ way too much. So it’s on my ‘check this’ list.”
A “check this” list is a list of common mistakes you make that you always double check before you submit a piece of writing. Add to the list any time you make a mistake more than once in a piece of writing. (A lot of people have “its” and “it’s” on their “check this” list — here’s a tutorial for that one!
DO THESE THINGS EVERY DAY
Have you heard the phrase “practice like you play”? Athletes and coaches use this term to describe the way they always give their best effort — no matter if they are in a game or engaged in training.
If you employ these daily writing tips in your writing, even when you’re turning in an assignment that won’t necessarily be graded for spelling, punctuation and grammar, your writing will improve — and fast.
- The American Academy: “How to take effective study breaks”
- The American Academy: “How to eliminate study distractions”