Consider the power that exists within the written word. With it, it's possible to make people laugh, cry, and even take action.
Now, consider the multitudes of opportunities colleges have to offer, and the scholarships, grants, and internships that are available. These are most often awarded to those who can express their ideas in writing to people they have never met and who are the first to read and evaluate application materials.
The ability to translate and share your ideas in a well-written response to an application's essay prompt, and present your best self in a resume, will bring you one step closer to getting that all important first interview. Remember: the written word is typically the first mode of communication used when colleges are looking for new students to join their campus community.
Revealing your unique personal voice from a written standpoint is a vital skill, yet may be something you've never considered important enough to cultivate. If this leads you to ask the question, Where do I go to begin to improve my personal writing style?, don't worry! With a few ideas and some elbow grease, you will be able to produce top-quality work in a style that is all your own.
An excellent place to start!
One of the easiest ways to start developing a style of writing is to pay close attention to the teaching material given in your classes. If a book grabs your interest, is simple to read, and you clearly understand what the author is saying, this is a strong indication that his or her style of writing may suit your personality very well. Are sentences built with descriptive words, are they full of relatable emotions, and do they leave room for your imagination to fill in the scenes? Do the words tug at your heart or do they activate your mind? Take note of your reactions and internal responses, and build your awareness for what you connect with. When the opportunity presents itself, attempt to incorporate these elements in your writing and see if you can add life to the message you're wanting to share.
Remember, your goal is not to become a great novelist. You are simply trying to improve your writing skills so you're able to present ideas in a clear and concise manner while allowing your personal voice to shine through.
They're famous for a reason
Look for authors that express their ideas in clear and meaningful ways. The style in which they piece together their words and the voice they use vary greatly from one to another. It is this style and voice that you want to pay attention to, in addition to the elements described in the previous section. What pulls at you? What makes you want to read the next sentence, paragraph, or chapter?
It's also recommended that you look for writers who compose short, insightful pieces that are not just in book form, but articles as well. Seth Godin is good example of a person who produces both. Keep in mind that an author does not have to be famous to qualify. If you have a favorite blogger who writes in a way that captures your attention, then by all means, try and emulate his or her style and voice.
Your goal when developing a personal writing style should be to expand your abilities so you can captivate an audience with the words you've written. In this case, your audience includes the people who are reviewing your scholarship application, college application essay, or resume. Following the writing styles of authors you admire is an effective and fun way to easily improve your own writing.
You don't have to be an avid reader to learn tips to develop your personal writing skills. Consider the countless speeches that have moved nations into action.
To use the speech approach, visualize yourself verbally expressing your thoughts to one or more people. You can also research the powerful speeches of our nation's history, listen to presentations of industry leaders, and take note of the style of delivery your teachers use in class. Useful clues and resources that can trigger discovery may come from many different angles and people!
Pay particular attention to the speaker's chosen words and how his or her phrasing invokes interest, dreams, and inspirations in others. As with the techniques used by engaging and effective authors, the key is not to just reveal facts--you need to tell your story.
In time, you will discover that your unique personal writing style has been hiding inside of you all along. If you think about it, your "style," whether fashion, social, professional, academic, and communication, makes up who you are; and, your writing style is just as much a part of your personality as all the others we've just listed here.
Developing a writing style may take time and will change over the years. Don't wait until you have to start writing to improve this skill. Study the styles of your favorite authors and speakers and see if you can identify what exactly draws you to want to read or hear more of what they have to say. If you know that in the near future you will be applying for schools, scholarships, or any other endeavor, begin practicing today. Write about subjects or hobbies that you enjoy and then discuss it with people you trust and whose opinions you respect. Ask if the ideas and concepts presented come across like elements of an engaging story. Remember, developing your personal writing style is a powerful tool that will last long after you graduate from college; and, there's no better time to build and strengthen it than now!
A final word…
For some, writing can be a scary and uncomfortable subject. We often think, If I can just get in there and meet face-to-face, they will see how much I deserve to be accepted to their school, get the scholarship, or receive the internship that is being offered. Unfortunately, this is not usually how it works. Can you imagine the hundreds of people who would be going in and out of a recruiter's office day in and day out if this was the case? The written word is where it starts and having a style that makes you stand out will help you get that face-to-face meeting you deserve. If you need assistance and don't know where to find personally relevant resources, contact us here with your questions and let's get you on the path to discovering your own personal writing style.