It’s the new year! You know what that means: time to make resolutions! Whether you want to get better grades or exercise more, it’s always great to start the new year with positive intentions and resolutions that are attainable.
If one of your goals is to be a better writer, there are many small ways to do so—and not all of them involve writing practice! Here are four resolutions to consider:
Get your writing off to a strong start this year with the BibMe Plus grammar and plagiarism checker. Find and fix writing errors before your teacher does. You can also refresh your knowledge on verbs, adjectives, adverbs, and other parts of speech.
Goal: Tackle writer’s block / Resolution: Write first thing in the morning!
Do you ever find yourself staring at your computer screen when you have a paper that’s due the next day? Do you hope that the words will magically come to you, yet your mind remains blank? One of the reasons why you might get writer’s block is that you’re scared what you’ll write will be terrible. Don’t judge your writing before you even start!
One resolution that could help you tackle writer’s block is to begin writing just for writing’s sake. Write without judgment. Once you get into this habit, you’ll find that writing essays will be much easier.
So how do you write for writing’s sake? Get a pen and a notebook. Resolve to write first thing in the morning every day for just five minutes. Every morning when you wake up, open your notebook and write whatever thoughts come to your mind for five straight minutes. Whether you write, “I can’t wait to eat breakfast,” or “Wow, that was a weird dream,” it doesn’t matter. What matters is that you’re doing the act of writing. Don’t worry about crossing out errors or making sure your writing is logical or even correct. Just scribble down whatever sentences pop into you head.
By doing this, you’ll get comfortable with writing first and editing later. You’ll get used to jotting down words without judgment. The hardest part of writing is getting started, so give yourself permission to just start!
Goal: Improve your vocabulary / Resolution: Learn one new word per day!
Do you find yourself constantly looking up synonyms because you don’t want to repeat yourself? Do you wish you had more varied word choice in your writing?
This resolution is straightforward: resolve to learn one new vocabulary word per day! You might be wondering, “But how do I find new words?” A simple and fun way to do this is to jot down new words you encounter in your daily life. Whether they’re from blog posts or academic journal articles, make a running list of these vocabulary words. For example, let’s say you’re reading an article for class, and you discover seven new words. That’s great! Add them to your list. Seven words is the equivalent to a week’s worth of vocabulary.
When you start this resolution, don’t feel pressured to find a brand new word every day. Spend the first two weeks of the new year creating your vocabulary list. That way, when you start to learn a new word per day, you already have a few to learn!
Also, there are many online websites that have a “word of the day.” If you’re struggling to find words, simply find and bookmark one of these pages and you’ll be set!
Goal: Change up your syntax / Resolution: Read with intention!
Do you think your writing could use more interesting sentence structures? Do you want to add more pizzazz to your writing?
Changing up your syntax while you write is an easy way to spice up your writing. It can, however, feel odd to write a paragraph and then ask yourself, “How do I change the structure?”
One resolution that could naturally improve your syntax is to read with intention while reading other people’s writing. Reading with intention means not only comprehending the content, but also reflecting on how the author is communicating his or her ideas. What makes the writing engaging? What could be improved about it? What is the tone and how did they communicate it? Are the sentences long or short? Did you notice any patterns?
If you specifically read while keeping an eye out for syntax, you can start to see how different sentence structures impact your impression of the content. Make a mental note of what you want to try in your own writing, and then try it!
Goal: Vary your writing style / Resolution: Read different types of articles
Do you want to explore various styles of writing (e.g., writing a casual blog post vs. writing a news article)? Do you want to see how you can address different audiences?
A simple resolution you can adopt to learn how to vary your writing style is to expose yourself to different types of articles. Start by choosing three different types of writing styles. For example, a lifestyle blog, a news source, and an academic journal article. Resolve to read one article from each type of writing style once a week. You can designate Monday as the day you read your favorite blog, Wednesday as the day you read from a news source, and Friday as the day you read from an academic journal. Similar to reading with intention, notice what works for each style and adopt what you like based on what you’re writing!
Bonus Resolution: Start a journal or a blog!
At the end of the day, you become a better writer by writing. Keeping a private journal or blog is an easy way to improve your writing. Plus, it’s fun to reflect back on your memories!
One other writing resolution to make: Cite your source properly. Citation Machine can help! Generate an APA citation, create a reference list using MLA formatting, and learn from an annotated bibliography example.