High school is a great time to develop writing skills, even though it might seem really, really boring. Why is it a great time? Two reasons – firstly, the topics (believe it or not) are generally really easy to write about. Secondly, there are lots of people around to help. There are far fewer people waiting around to help uni or college students with their essay writing skills!
Essay writing in everyday life
Written communication is really important. In fact, it’s more than really important. It’s critical, crucial even. The written word lasts a lot longer than the spoken word and it has to convey meaning without all the usual verbal and nonverbal cues that are used when speaking. Also, more than two-thirds of salaried jobs need really strong written communication skills and companies spend billions of dollars every year training people to make sure they can write properly. So, whilst it’s true that not every person will spend their daily lives writing academic essays, it is highly likely that the skills involved in essay writing will be used on a very regular basis.
So what skills are involved?
Some say there are more, some say there are less, but basically there are six skills you need to master to write great essays.
- Writing up
- Adding references and appendices where appropriate
So far, so good? Still need convincing?
Think about using these skills when applying for a job.
Anyone wanting a job will need to write an application. More often than not, a personal statement of some sort is needed, either in the form of an actual statement about yourself or in the form of a letter telling the potential employer why they should hire you over someone else. Guess what? It might not seem like it, but this is an essay!
- Preparation. Applicants have to prepare what to put into their applications and what to leave out. It is really important to remember the good bits and to leave out the bad bits! Just making notes, however untidy, is a great start.
- Research. Applicants will have to research their potential new employer so they know how to make their skills fit the person spec or the job description.
- Planning. Applicants have to plan their letter, their statement, whatever it is they have been asked to prepare. Planning is really important so important information isn’t accidentally left out.
- Writing up. After the prep, research, and planning there is writing to be done. Guess what? This can be a really, really quick process if you have done the prep, research, and planning. If you’ve not, then writing can be really slow, boring and repetitive.
- Editing. So very, very important!! Check and double check, simple mistakes like incorrectly spelling your own name can cost you.
- Add references. Ok, so this one isn’t always needed when writing every day. Sometimes it is though, so just check.
Still not convinced? Think about it this way. No application means no job. No job means no money. No money means no fun.
Developing great writing skills in high school may not sound like fun. In most cases, it really isn’t fun. However, to get anywhere in life students of any age will have to master these key skills.
I can’t write. What can I do?
Wrong. Everyone can write, and everyone can get better at writing. Anyone can write sentences. Anyone can put sentences into paragraphs. Anyone can string paragraphs together to create an essay.
Does this make “anyone” a great writer? NO.
Great writing skills can develop intelligence. They can also develop critical thinking skills. They can set one student apart from another, so it’s worth getting better and mastering these skills.
How can I get better?
Read, read, read, then read some more! Students with better than average writing skills are avid readers who take an active interest in what they are reading. What is it that makes the essay you are reading great? Is it the vocabulary? The essay structures? The use of headings and subheadings?
High schools are full of staff who are able to help students struggling to work out what it is that makes an essay great. Chat with the staff, chat with family, chat with friends. They can all help. Keep a notebook and make a list of the features you love and want to use in your own writing.
One great way of improving your own essay writing is to buy an essay you already know to be great. Using an essay writing service to help you because you can specify the type of essay you want – if you want to know what an average essay is, then you can get one. If you want to know what a fantastic essay is so that you can compare the two, you can get one. If you wanted, you could get an average essay and a great essay written using the same essay title. That way, the features which make the great essay fabulous will be even more clear to see, and you will be able to replicate those techniques in your own writing.
So, there it is. Having great writing skills are crucial to getting the life that you want, and it’s never too late to start developing great writing skills.
** This is a collaborative post **