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4 Simple Academic Writing Strategies for International Students

how to improve academic writing skillsThough it often sounds next to impossible, academic writing skills can be improved. It may indeed take a great amount of practice, but success gives a smile only to the most persistent ones. So choose a more suitable practice and you will be amazed at how quickly you will write in a prolific academic manner.


Practice Decoding

International students can begin the decoding practice by translating their favorite story or even just a page into their native language. This will give the student an opportunity to explore new vocabulary and transfer understanding of those words to their own language. Transitions and the structure of the story will help build a better understanding of how language is used in academic writing. Another advantage of this practice is an opportunity to acquire great translation skills.


Analyze Research Papers and Resources

Since a college student must read massive amounts of research and resource papers through the year reading them thoroughly rather than simply skimming for information will help improve writing skills. So kill 2 birds with one stone!


Utilize Resources: Writing Centers, Handbooks and … Friends

Most colleges offer a writing center with tutors who can help students improve their writing skills. So regardless of whether the student has a great deal of free time or very little, it is important to frequent the writing center as much as possible. Even if time does not permit them to proofread everything the student has written they can skim through the assignments and check for errors that stand out. Tutors in the writing center can help students get their thoughts and ideas arranged to begin writing or point out errors in already completed writing pieces that allow the student to make proper revisions.

There are also many different writing handbooks available and even online websites that can serve as a quick reference for proper writing such as formatting and citations. These books vary in different formatting styles. Most colleges have specific styles of writing they ask students to use when writing academic papers.

Friends are also great resources. Sometimes it is difficult for the student to proofread their own writing, because the student understands what was meant by the writing piece. Having a friend to proofread may help the student find errors they did not see or structure that is lacking in flow. Students can help one another with vocabulary as well. The thesaurus is great to find better words to describe something and sound more academically intelligent but the student must be careful not to sound like a dictionary or thesaurus in that the work should still reflect wording they would use without the thesaurus.


Avoid the Fluff

Students may be tempted to add fluff or unimportant information in academic writing to fill space or wording but this should be kept to a minimum. Some fluff may make the writing piece slightly more interesting but too much fluff can leave the paper lacking in information and began to make it boring.

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