Regardless of how much success you’ve had in your academic writing in the past, you can write better and earn better grades. These four steps will make it happen.
1. Set your goal high.
Know the grade you’re shooting for, and make it a high one, ideally an A. Don’t let your goal be to just get by in your writing assignments. There’s a universal law which says that we get what we ask for, so ask for what you really want. Don’t short change yourself by setting low goals. No matter what grades you’ve gotten on your writing in the past, this isn’t the past anymore.
2. Choose the strategies that will achieve your goal.
Seek out great students and do what they do—literally. Watch how they behave in class. Do they sit up straight? You do the same. Do they take notes? You should too. As much as possible, befriend these people and ask them what they think makes them successful. Form a study group and invite them to join. Ask them to swap papers and edit for one another.
The more of their strategies you adopt for yourself, the more of their positive results you’ll duplicate.
3. Observe your results.
Track your grades. Every time an assignment is handed back to you, record the grade on a page in your notebook. Calculate your course grade frequently so you know where you stand at all times. Are your strategies achieving your goal? If not, don’t despair. There’s no need to be hard on yourself. Just recognize that changes are needed, and believe in your ability to make those changes.
4. Adjust your strategy.
An anonymous quote says, “We can’t control the wind, but we can so adjust our sails to take us where we want to go.” If your first strategy doesn’t work, change it and try again. Observe your results again: what’s working, what isn’t and why? Use the
Recipe for Success to help you make adjustments when they’re needed.
Success coach Anthony Robbins says, “There is no such thing as failure… there are only results.” If you find you aren’t getting the grades you want, change your approach. Get extra help. Proofread your papers more times. Meet with your instructor to ask questions. New strategies bring new results. The only way you fail is if you give up.
Find the help you need with your academic writing in the following articles:
Confident Descriptive Writing.
Confident Narrative Writing.
(Note: the APA and MLA articles have moved to the new Research Paper Help page. Click the tab at left to go to them.)
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