How to Improve Writing Skills for Students
Composing text with good readability can improve students’ writing skills and help them academically and professionally. Readability refers to the ease with which a reader can understand and comprehend written text. Here are some suggestions to help students improve their writing skills based on real-world Search Engine Optimization (SEO) practices. Why? So assessors can better understand and comprehend students’ written work so they achieve better grades.
SEO Practices Can Improve Writing Skills for Students
One way to improve your writing skills is to make it more readable by incorporating so-called Search Engine Optimization (SEO) practices into your work. In the real world, SEO improves the readability and structure of written work for enhanced visibility on the Internet. Because search engines such as Google and Bing are in the business of sharing only the best content with users—nobody wants to be served low-quality web pages!
So, incorporating SEO practices into your writing can help you become more mindful of your word choice and how you structure your work. You find yourself paying closer attention to your marker’s needs—so write more compelling content.
What does this mean for students who incorporate SEO practices in their written work? Better grades! Why? Because their work will be easier for assessors to read and understand.
Advice to Help Students Improve Their Writing Skills
Improve your writing skills by following the practical advice below.
1. Write Readable Text
The Flesch reading ease test measures the readability of text. It determines a score by measuring the average length of your sentences (measured by the number of words) and the average number of syllables per word. This information provides a score between 0 and 100.
A score of 100 means your text is easy to read. A score of 0 means your text is difficult to read.
Moreover, you can check the readability of your text here: https://originality.ai/readability-checker/.
2. Write Using Active Voice Can Improve Writing Skills for Students
Passive voice is a grammatical construction that makes writing more distant and less clear. This is because passive text (e.g., “The ball is being chased by the dog“) is wordy and requires more effort to read and understand than active text (e.g., “The dog chases the ball“).
So, try to write in an active voice—it will make your writing stronger!
You can detect examples of passive voice in your work here: https://datayze.com/passive-voice-detector.
3. Avoid Starting Consecutive Sentences With the Same Word
Starting consecutive sentences with the same word makes text awkward to read and repetitive. It also breaks the rhythm of your storytelling and puts people off reading your work.
To make your writing more engaging, avoid using the same word to start consecutive sentences.
Remember, engaging storytelling is characteristic of work that gets high grades!
4. Use Headings
Text without headings makes your work difficult for others to understand. They act like signposts and make it easier for readers to figure out what the page is about. They also highlight important parts of your content and show how sections are interconnected.
Assessments like lab reports and grant proposals should include headings for enhanced readability and structure.
Headings are not necessary for concise assessments (e.g., short-answer essays). But they are helpful in a long piece of work (e.g., long-answer essays and lab reports) and for essay planning.
5. Write Shorter Paragraphs
Paragraphs of an appropriate length make your text readable. They help break down your words into manageable and easy-to-understand chunks. Readers can then understand your text more easily.
A good paragraph provides information on a single, well-defined point. And usually have more than two sentences. Over 250 words (or more than five or six sentences) is almost certainly too long and difficult to read.
So, help readers to understand your work by writing shorter paragraphs. The more assessors can understand your text—the higher your grade!
6. Write Shorter Sentences
Longer sentences are more difficult to read than shorter sentences. And shorter sentences make it easier for you to get your point across.
To avoid someone’s mind wandering off mid-sentence—write shorter sentences! If more than 25% of your sentences are longer than 20 words—shorten them.
Moreover, clear and concise writing typically gets awarded high grades.
7. Using Transition Words Improves Student’s Writing Skills
Transition words such as “and”, “but”, “so”, and “because” show your reader the relationship between sentences or paragraphs. Use them to make it easier for your reader to understand how your thoughts and ideas are connected.
Transition words help your story to flow!
Use transition words in your writing to help you enhance the readability of your text.
You can check if you use enough transition words in your work here: https://app.readable.com/text/transition.
Incorporating SEO practices into writing can help students compose text with good readability. And can help students develop essential writing skills that will benefit them academically and professionally.
Composing text with good readability forces students to 1) express their ideas clearly and concisely, which in turn helps them become better writers. 2) Use varied and appropriate vocabulary to convey their ideas effectively. And 3) create compelling and engaging content for their audience (i.e., the person grading your work).
Remember, work that is easier to read and understand will receive a better grade than work that is difficult to follow.
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