- Purpose- What is the purpose of your writing?
- Audience- Who is your audience?
- Form- What form will your writing take?
- What can you do to improve your writing?
Becoming a good writer can be challenging. For young students interested in developing their writing abilities, it’s a great idea to find tools that will help you spot your own mistakes and improve your overall writing style.
Writing is communication. In expressing our ideas coherently and thoughtfully, we gain a lifelong tool that will help us communicate well with others. Writing shouldn’t be prescriptive, but there are elements you can master in order to gain confidence in writing.
We can all do it, and the fact that you’re reading this article means you’re already on your way toward becoming a better writer! ✍️
Whether you dream of becoming a writer or not, writing encompasses so much of our daily life: emails, notes, reports and social media posts to name just a few. And as a student, you’re likely aware of the impact being able to write and communicate your ideas well will have on your grades and overall academic success.
If you’d like to improve your writing style, we would recommend that you start by considering the following three questions:
#1 Purpose- What is the purpose of your writing?
It’s a good idea to start out with a clear understanding of why you’re writing to begin with and what you’re hoping to achieve.
Is the goal of your writing:
- To inform?
Thinking clearly about why you’re working on this piece of writing will help you adapt your style to different scenarios and feel more confident as you write.
Take for example a piece of non-fiction, persuasive writing. The goal is to use rhetorical devices to appeal to three main areas:
💡 Logos, an appeal to logic; ‘As a student at this school, I’m writing you a letter to ask for change that will affect my daily life. Please help!’
💡 Pathos, an appeal to emotion; ‘Remember when you were thirteen? The feeling of being left out? Think carefully before you speak and you’ll change someone’s day.’
💡 Ethos, an appeal to ethics; ‘You’re the teacher. You’re the expert. Help us create a campaign to make the school more eco-friendly.’
A combination of all three, with a few more stylistic features along the way, starts to help to create a unique and personal writing style. We recommend that you plan these sections out carefully before writing, which breaks down the whole process.
#2 Audience- Who is your audience?
In addition to purpose, knowing your audience and what tone and ideas might appeal to them also improves your writing voice. Spend some time thinking about your intended readers, and how you can tailor your text toward them. ☝️
If you find yourself getting a little stuck as you try to work out how you should write the text you’re currently working on, asking yourself prompt questions may help you find direction.
Are you writing:
- As an expert? Breaking things down and explaining concepts to the reader.
- Are you talking to an expert, needing to impress?
- If writing creative fiction rather than non-fiction, do you want to change your voice entirely?
- To become a different character or person?
This encourages flexibility in writing, and for students to consider changing their overall style. It also stretches the imagination and encourages creativity and encourages creativity. Don’t forget that reading voraciously can do wonders for your writing, too!
#3 Form- What form will your writing take?
Often, we don’t have a choice about the form of our writing. But mistakes are made in not adapting our style to the form we’re being asked to write in.
- Are you writing a formal letter? State your credentials at the start, as well as your aims or wants by the end.
- Are you putting together a blog post? Make your writing less formal, and talk directly to your reader.
Consider what form you’re writing in (or being asked to write in), and combine it with considering the audience carefully. You’ll then start thinking critically about what’s missing in your writing, and will be able to better adapt to new forms.
What can you do to improve your writing?
If you’re currently in secondary school, you may be thinking ahead to your future field of study and your career with a dream of becoming a writer. Beyond the tips we’ve already given, there are several easy steps you can take to develop your writing abilities. However, the most important thing is to keep practising! The more you write, the better your writing will become.
A great piece of advice is to read your writing aloud, either to yourself or to someone else. You’ll often be able to spot errors in grammar and phrasing quickly when you read your writing out loud. You could practice editing these errors in a different colour – this will help you learn from the mistakes and form new writing habits ✅
If you’re serious about becoming a better writer, it’s a great idea to find resources in your local community or among your peers that can help you on your way. For example, tell your friends about your passion for writing and ask them to give you feedback on your work, or check if there is a writing group at your school or local community centre that you could join.
You could also share your interest in writing with your family members or teachers, who would likely be happy to help you dive deeper into your newfound passion.
At GoStudent, our dedicated tutors have plenty of experience working with students to help them develop their own individual writing styles. You can book a free trial lesson with us if you’d like to give us a try! 🚀