How to be a Better Writer: Tips from an English Major Part 2

By Caleb Smith

 

Now if you read the first part, I covered what you need to know to be a better writer when it comes to grammar. As a real quick recap, grammar isn’t really as important as many people think. It’s a guide to making your writing make sense but the silly grammar rules you were taught in elementary school probably aren’t a big deal. But now that we’ve covered grammar, where do we go from there? Well the best step would be to focus on content.

Content in a paper is always something I used to struggle with. I didn’t know what to write about. I was always hopeful that I would get a topic assigned to me so I didn’t have to worry about figuring out what I was going to write about. Now, I don’t really have much of a problem figuring out a topic. Why is that? Well the simple answer is this: I write what I know and I write what I like.

Lets look at the previous article about writing for instance. I know writing quite well by now. I’ve been an English major for about 3 years, and of course, I know the process of writing fairly well. So, when I write this article I draw on things I know. I’ve learned in the past that grammar isn’t as big of a deal as I used to make it and I’ve seen others struggle with the same thought process. There’s the first article. I talk about my experience were I learned to stop worrying about grammar and give my advice in the same breath. It’s really as simple as that. Now let’s cover the other side: Write about things you like.

The perfect example of this comes from a story about one of my friends. Writing was a challenge for him. As for things he really liked, he had an unhealthy obsession with Mountain Dew and every time I went over to his apartment there were empty cans scattered everywhere. Back at school in his writing class, he decided to write a paper about one of his favorite things: Mountain Dew. And what do you think happened? That paper he wrote ended up being the highest grade he had in the class that semester. It’s because he was passionate about the topic. He loved Mountain Dew so the paper became easier to write. It was something he was interested in. You’d be surprised how easy it can be to write a paper quickly when the topic of it is something you enjoy. It becomes less of a chore and more interesting.

And that’s what we’re aiming towards. Making your paper interesting and well written. Writing can be a lot easier and more fun if you already know the topic you’re writing about. It makes it even better if you enjoy it. So imagine what it’s like for the reader of said paper if your passion from experience or the things you enjoy bleed off the page and make it fun to read. It makes your writing better and more fun to read.

Now that we’ve covered grammar and topic in your writing next up is something a lot of people don’t like.