Additional Writing Tips
Becoming a Good Writer
Creativity and Brainstorming
Perhaps the greatest source of nervousness in the opinion portions of the test is not being able to think of something to say. Improve your brainstorming skills with practice. Explore the different methods until you find the one that works for you.
Are you a linear thinker?
Are you an intuitive thinker? A non-traditional method of generating ideas may work better.
Be well read
One of the roads to good writing is reading. Read the kind of writing that you would like to produce. Some ideas include:
Practice makes perfect! You wouldn't go into a sports competition without training, would you? Write often to get used to the process.
Learn how to edit your own writing.
Develop a strategy for quickly editing your work. You may even memorize this list.
Every essay should have the following organizational structure:
Body (paragraphs or sentences to explain, prove, illustrate, etc.)
Transition words should be chosen carefully so that they are true guideposts for the reader. Do not use "first, second, third" unless you are describing steps in a process or explaining events chronologically!
To indicate that an example or an illustration follows:
chiefly, especially, for instance, in particular, namely, particularly, including, specifically, such as, as an example, in this case
To show how one action is similar to another action:
comparatively, likewise, similar to, moreover, together with
To contrast ideas:
although, however, instead, on the other hand, in contrast, but
To emphasize one point:
above all, chiefly, with attention to, especially, particularly, singularly
To show the structure or organization of the essay:
first, let's begin with, next, now, furthermore, in addition
To summarize or conclude:
all in all, all things considered, briefly, in brief, in conclusion, on the whole, in short, in summary, in the final analysis, in the long run, to sum up, to summarize, finally
Strengthen your writing.
Connect it to a larger issue such as a cultural belief, a current headline catching the nation's attention, or a theoretical question many people face.
Appeal to authority by quoting an expert in the field or relating an anecdote which illustrates how that authority handled the situation.
Stay on track. Digression is distracting.
Vary basic and complex sentence structures.