Photo by JazminQuaynor
Learning how to write an essay isn't a singular experience. You need to be willing to learn from the people around you , in order to better yourself and your work. When you live on a college campus, opportunities to improve are everywhere you look.
You can meet with a professor or your teaching assistant. You can visit the writing center. You can get advice from readers of your personal blog. You can also take part in the education of your friends, and use their writing samples to improve your own work. Whatever you decide to do, remember to take advantage of the unique and plentiful writing aids located on your campus. They can change the course of your educational career.
1. Talk to a Professor
If you have a journalism professor (or even an English professor) that you’ve found to be particularly useful when it comes to writing assignments, try meeting with them during their office hours. Even if your work isn’t for their class, they’ll most likely be happy to help you improve your work for a different project. Professors know that they’ve done something right when students ask for outside help, and you won’t find anyone who knows the craft half as well as they do.
2. Visit the Writing Center
Usually, your tuition covers the cost of utilizing the writing center at least three times throughout the semester. Here, you can bring any piece of writing that you want to proofread. You won’t be working with other students here. You’ll be working with teaching assistants, graduate students, and professors who want to help you succeed. Sometimes, you might get discouraged after hearing an adviser’s criticism. But it’s how you take this criticism and use it to improve your writing that shows your true level of understanding.
3. Start a Blog
Maybe you don’t want help from people you can see. Maybe you want a broader range of people through which to improve your writing. Blogs are notorious for this use. You can make a free blog using websites like WordPress, then publish essays, updates, and postings for feedback. Whenever possible, use the feedback from your readers to improve your work. You’ll quickly find that, the more you do, the better you write.
4. Edit Papers for Your Friends
By working on the papers that your friends write, you’ll be able to better appreciate your writing. You’ll be able to take examples and wording from their work, and use it to revise and edit your own (and no, this doesn’t mean take their ideas or their exact wording). This is basically the process of peer-learning. You’re going to revise someone else’s work but, in the process, you’re going to learn more about your own. You’ll notice the kind of phrasing and wording that you should avoid. Professors love this kind of editing, because it helps students feed off of one another.
5. Utilize Help Rooms
Many college campuses offer help rooms for students, available to assist them in writing or learning in general. Here, you’ll meet with teaching assistants and other students that are struggling. It’s almost like a very large study group. You’ll take the information that you learn from this group, and you’ll apply it to your writing. You might work on it specifically, right there during the session. Or, you might take it home and fix it while thinking about the advice that you were given. Help rooms are versatile. You’ll be able to do anything that you want to do, within reason. You can work on whatever you want.
6. Meet With Your TA
Teaching assistants also have office hours, and are more than happy to help you. Often, these are graduate students looking to become educators or further their experience in a specific field. They know what you’ve been through, because they have firsthand knowledge of what it’s like to be a college student. Rather than asking your professor, you can talk to someone who’s been in your shoes, and knows what you need to do in order to graduate.
7. Go to the Library
This is probably the most obvious resource on campus. Going to the library will give you a quiet place to work, and an opportunity to study almost anything that you want. Endless amounts of research can be conducted here, helping you with your stories and improving your work.
If you take advantage of these opportunities, your writing will improve and you’ll learn how to reach out for assistance when you need it. Best of luck!