The best way to build your writing skills is to read. Reading, especially in the style you need to write in, will broaden your vocabulary and teach you rhetorical devices that achieve similar aims as yours.
Take Writing Classes Seriously
Take advanced writing classes if you can. Prioritize AP English just as much as your other classes. In college, take writing classes too. These classes will help you develop the necessary skills to write argumentatively, analytically, and persuasively. They will also ensure you gain exposure to and learn to analyze quality writing, which will apply to the development of your own writing.
The importance of planning before you write cannot be overstressed. This saves you time and energy, allowing for greater focus once you start writing. It will also enable you to notice any flaws in your argument before you waste that time and energy. An outline will create an effective organization for your writing with strong transitions and good flow. Choppy writing is irritating to read, and because you are depending on your reader for something, such as admissions to their school or funding for a proposal, irritation is not the feeling you want your writing to give them. These features of your writing will show a logical procession of ideas, assisting their understanding of the piece.
Analyze Audience and Purpose
Your audience and purpose determine the style and tone of the piece. To be able to write well, you have to be able to understand your audience. You need to know what they are looking for and what they expect your writing to look like. This can sometimes require a little bit of research, but it can also simply mean getting to know your boss, teacher, or client.
Use grammar editing software
If you have tools available to catch grammar, spelling, or punctuation mistakes, make use of them. Grammarly, Google Docs, or Microsoft Word is much better than humans at correcting all of the simple mistakes you overlooked. Mistakes like these can sometimes mean the difference between a prospective employer hiring someone else or an admissions officer rejecting your application. As mentioned before, they can make you come across as lazy or unqualified, which can prove to be detrimental.
Practicing often improves and maintains any skill, and writing is no exception. Not only is it a stress-relieving practice with numerous health benefits, but making writing a habit will improve your writing, help you organize, and will make it easier to write when you actually have to.
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