Writing Tricks for College Students: Challenges and Solutions

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The most common complaint from college students is that “I was a good writer, even one of the best in my school, but it’s not enough here in college and I do not know what I am missing out on!” If you are one of the students stuck with this issue, then this article is surely for you. First, let us get to the differences between college and school level writing.

Your college writing is mostly NOT about your writing proficiency, while that is the major focus in your school essays. However, that does not mean you can reduce on your fluency, spelling, presentation and the like in your college. It instead means, the writing abilities are taken as a given. If you feel your basic writing in itself is lacking, we need to remedy it first. Now if we assume as the above complaint suggested, that we are good writers and do not have any issues with grammar, sentence structure and spelling. As a school student, you are not expected to go too deep into the subject or conversely, expected to choose from a set of given results, thus honing on your argument skills.

A College is where you are actually going to test these skills with the limits removed. It is akin to a training soldier going into the real war field. What we need to remember is that, there are no limits to what you can do in the war field. At the same time, there are no safety mechanisms that the training had.

So what is the war field? It is the challenge to perform deeper research, have more perspectives and present them in a sensible manner. We, of course have specifically chosen one domain to study unlike the multiple subjects taking our time in school and hence the expectation for the depth. Most students misunderstand depth for width. That is they tend to cover more areas or concepts in one paper than taking one concept and milking it for all its worth from multiple perspectives. This technique has the twofold benefit of displaying your depth of understanding in the subject and not exhausting too many topics for just one paper.

The regulations of formatting, references and citations are more rigorous as well. Most of the students know that the issue can be resolved by using one of the many online or offline tools available to create the bibliography and citations for you. One very important piece of advice would be to read the manual for your citation in its current edition at least once or twice. This enables students to not only verify if the tool they are using is updated but to be able to manually create the list for emergencies as well.

What is your most important problem with your writing skills?

Are your rubrics and scoring system clear enough to preempt the scores as soon as you finish your paper?

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