Good High School Writing Strategies that Lead to Great College Research Papers

Effective high school writing strategies lead to great college research writing. The ability to write well is one of the most important skills to acquire during your high school years. Not only will you need to write well for your high school and college classes, but once you are ready for the workforce, good writing skills are a must. Below is a list of effective writing strategies that will help to improve writing skills while still in high school.

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Read often and research- Reading a variety of sources will improve your writing style and help you learn new vocabulary and spelling. Be sure to read an assortment of publications including plays, poetry, news articles, fiction, interviews, videos, internet, and magazine features.

Use note cards- When reading and researching, use note cards to record important information such as author, name of article, date of article, type of research, page number, and research information being quoted or paraphrased. This will also help you with your in-text citations and work cited page.

Write rough drafts- Get all your ideas and thoughts onto paper or your computer before you worry about fixing grammar and spelling. Just let your thoughts flow and continue your writing. When you have the bulk of what you want to say, then you can go back and edit your grammar and spelling.

Write final proof- Fashion is very important when writing. Good fashion helps your writing flow more smoothly, so your reader will easily process what you are saying. Here are a few tips when writing: avoid the use of slang, try not to use abbreviations, don't use symbols, brackets are used to play down words while dashes are used for emphasis. Know what style type, if any you are using such as MLA, APA, Chicago, etc. Make sure that you have followed the teachers’ paper format instructions including margins, font style, font size, page numbers, heading, etc.

Create a vivid introduction- The first paragraph is important. It sets the tone and either makes the reader want to continue reading or makes the reader want to fall asleep. Sometimes it is easier to write your content first then go back and write a vibrant introduction that fits with your main ideas.

Create an interesting ending- The ending paragraph should make the reader think about what he has just read. Most concluding paragraphs simply summarize the introduction. Try to come up with a clever ending so your reader will remember your key points.

Proofread- Always proofread. This is one of the most important high school writing strategies to implement. If your essay, term paper or research paper is full of mistakes, the reader will not take you seriously. Check again for spelling and grammar errors. While spell/grammar checkers can be helpful, they don't always find every mistake. For example your computer can’t differentiate the correct context for words like there and their or to and too.

Good writing takes a lot of time and practice- Being able to write and communicate well will get you ahead in your classes and in your future career. Take the time now to practice writing and ask questions while you have teachers readily available to give you feedback. By developing effective high school writing strategies today you will be more confident in your writing skills in the future.

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