Strong writing skills are essential to your academic and career success. Nearly 75 percent of employers say they value candidates with strong written communication skills, listing it as the number three most desired quality behind leadership and collaboration, according to the National Association of Colleges and Employers.
If writing isn’t one of your strengths, don’t worry. College is the perfect time to work on improving your written communication skills, and many schools offer writing resources to support students in their academic and career development.
Working with a writing coach can help you:
1. Create a writing plan
Sometimes the hardest part of an assignment is figuring out where to start. Having a goal or objective in mind will help you determine the key ideas you want to focus on in your essay. Your writing coach can help you understand your assignment criteria, and to generate and organize your thoughts. Then, you can work together to create an outline, or a plan, for your paper.
2. Formulate a thesis statement
A strong thesis statement is key to a well-developed essay. The introduction and conclusion are also vital to your essay structure, and they should do more than summarize your main points. Your writing coach can show you strategies for writing compelling introductions and conclusions and work with you to develop engaging thesis statements.
3. Identify strengths and weaknesses in your writing
It’s a good idea to review past assignments with your writing coach. Take a look at your instructor’s comments together, noting the things you did well and the skills you still need to work on. This will make it easier to determine where you need improvement, and it can also be a great way to track your progress toward your writing goals.
4. Identify and select sources
Citing your sources is a critical part of writing a strong research paper. Your writing coach can help you understand strategies for using source information, such as when to include a direct quote and when to paraphrase. Your coach can also show you how to use the correct formatting to cite your sources.
5. Develop revision and editing strategies
Try to plan ahead on your writing assignments so that you have enough time to review your first draft with your writing coach. He or she can help you revise your essay for clarity and flow and show you proofreading strategies to catch grammar and spelling errors.
Herzing University’s Writing Center (TWC) is fully online, making it accessible for all Herzing students. To connect with the Herzing Writing Center:
- Go to your Student Resources tab on your Canvas Dashboard and click on the Tutoring icon.
- Clicking this icon will display the Tutoring and Writing Center page.
- At the top of the page, you should see the Writing Assistance option.
- Below the title, you will see a link to Grammarly, our automated writing assistance program. You can use this tool if you do not want to work directly with a tutor.
- Below the Grammarly link will be a list of available writing coaches’ names and emails.
- If you want to work with writing coach, just send an email to request an appointment.
Working with a writing coach can help reduce your stress about writing assignments and can even help you improve your grades. For Herzing University-Madison graduate Theresa Lampe, the Writing Center was a big factor in her academic success.
“One of the challenges I faced while earning my degree was dealing with my learning differences (Attention Deficit Disorder and Dyslexia),” she says. “
My advice for other students is to use the Writing Center whenever you need help on a paper, and always be open to feedback and suggestions from your professors. They were always there to answer questions and helped me understand where I could improve.”