I work as a receptionist at the counseling center of my local community college. As a result I get the opportunity to develop relationships with a lot of students. In my mind I refer to them as “regulars.”
Just to clarify, most of the students that come here for assistance are looking for help in academic planning and stuff like that. The counselors do also do personal counseling, but the bulk of it is academic assistance.
Anyway, several weeks ago a student came in and she desperately needed help with her public speaking class. At first I told her that a tutor could give her the help that she needed. Unfortunately the public speaking tutors were swamped and couldn’t help her until after she was supposed to give her first speech. She then asked if I could help her. Since I was on the speech team in high school I said that I’d do my best. After all, I am here to help students succeed. Since that experience I’ve been the go-to person for when she needs help in her classes. This morning she asked me if I would be willing to proof read some papers for her. I was happy to do so and as I was going through there was a list of things that could be helpful for others in writing and I wanted to bring them to light here. Plus I thought the story was a good one to tell, haha.
1) Read what you’re writing out loud. Something might look great on paper but when you actually say it out loud it makes absolutely no sense
2) Pay attention to your spelling and grammar! There’s a pretty big difference between “their” and “they’re.” And just because your word processing doesn’t underline something in red doesn’t mean you didn’t spell it wrong. You may have simply used the wrong word.
3) Watch out for run-on sentences. They get way to wordy and it can be hard to remember what you’re saying.
4) Ask someone to proofread your paper! There might be things you don’t notice and a fresh pair of eyes can help you.
This is clearly not a comprehensive list, but this is what has been on my mind today in terms of good writing.