Starting college is a challenge for all freshmen. This statement was true in the past, but now, in the midst of a global pandemic, new college students may be understandably stressed about making the transition to higher education. While we may not be able to explain how best to engage in the college experience from a virtual standpoint, we can share some key writing and communication tips that will prove extremely useful now and well into the future. Check them out here:
Avoid Slang, Emojis, & Informalities
Generally speaking, it’s a good idea for college students to refrain from using informal language when communicating with professors and administrators. Sure, some people won’t mind if you make the odd mistake in an email communication, but it’s still best to write every email, message, and social media post in college with a certain level of professionalism. At worst, it will help you build good habits, and at best, enable you to avoid potentially awkward situations.
Look Everything Up
This might sound obvious, but you should never discuss a theme, concept, or issue that you don’t understand in writing. Even using a word incorrectly could cost you points in the eyes of some professors. So whether you’re writing an essay on syndicated research methods or 18th century French literature, don’t explore a topic unless you’ve researched it thoroughly. You won’t get away with breezing through a tough subject in a college paper.
Keep it Simple
Understandably, many college students feel pressure to write long, complex sentences and to use obscure words and phrases to “enhance” their writing style. This is almost always a bad idea. Rather than trying to reinvent the wheel, just focus on writing in a clear and concise fashion.
Write in active voice, eliminate run-on sentences, and structure your writing in a coherent manner.
Read it Out Loud
The best way to ensure that your writing makes sense is to simply read it aloud to yourself. This doesn’t require much time or energy, but it will allow you to spot common grammatical, stylistic, and spelling errors that you might otherwise miss. True, having a friend or classmate review your work before you submit it is also beneficial, but you may not have that luxury –– particularly if all of your classes are online.
At the end of the day, it’s okay to make mistakes and to encounter difficulties in college. Growth requires some struggle. Just be sure to try your best in every class. You never know which course will prove beneficial to you and your future career prospects. So don’t miss any opportunities to learn new skills or to hear new ideas.