Writing Skills for the Real World

Jun 17, 2013 | 6:00 am
Blog Work Skills
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Your ability to write can make or break your online high school experience. Since writing is an incredibly effective way to make sure a student has mastered a concept, you’ll find that you may be faced with a number of writing assignments. While it may seem frustrating at first, this is actually a great opportunity to work on real-world skills.

Writing is one of the main tools a person can leverage into better work opportunities. Your ability to write well can help you land jobs even over other seemingly more qualified candidates. If you can write well, it’s assumed you have a basic mastery over the English language and are capable of understanding basic information. If you can write well, it’s also assumed you can read well. This can be a deciding factor in hiring when it comes to how much effort will be needed to train you.

So how does this apply to your online high school work? Since much of your work will involve writing in the form of essays, you’ll be given ample opportunity to really work on crafting your writing skills. To help make the most of the experience, you’ll want to keep these writing tips in mind:

#1 – Always write with the reader in mind

If you don’t know who you are writing to, your words won’t hold any significance to the reader. If you are writing a persuasive essay, you need to know who it is you are trying to persuade. If your topic is saving money on coupons, but your readers are affluent business leaders, your message isn’t going to get heard. Before you do any writing, you should clearly establish who you are writing to or for.

#2 – Stay on topic

Nothing bores a reader more quickly than when the writer goes off-topic. In fact, any sentence that doesn’t need to be there, probably shouldn’t be. After you write your first draft of a paper, always make sure to go through it with an extremely critical eye and remove anything that doesn’t add to the message or thought you are trying to convey.

#3 – Make sure to group similar thoughts together

Once you’ve weeded out any information that isn’t truly relevant, it’s time to go through your paper again and look for things that are out of place. Your goal here is to identify sentences that may not fit well together or may be better somewhere else in your paper. Paragraphs should typically always be about one general topic. If you find yourself discussing more than one idea in  a paragraph, split it into two or see if some of the sentences would fit better in another section of your paper.

#4 – Avoid using the same patterns and words

The saying “variety is the spice of life” certainly applies to writing.  A paper can become boring when every sentence begins with the same word or you use the same word constantly. Go over your paper and check for any places where your sentences seem to similar in structure or you’ve used a word too often.

#5 – Read often

One of the best ways to become a better writer is to read the type of work you want to write. If you’re focused on writing essays, magazine and how-to articles online can help teach you some great techniques. The more you read, the more you’ll pick up on new words and writing patterns you may want to use. In fact, you’ll be learning how to write without really realizing it.