During this time of year we often find ourselves swapping recipes around the office, and we didn't want to leave you out! As delicious as pies, cakes and sweets are, we thought the most helpful for you would be a recipe for improving your writing skills.


  • Read and write often
  • Enroll in courses that help you think and communicate
  • Engage with the content
  • Read the rubric
  • Make an outline
  • Develop the main idea
  • Include personal information and/or facts
  • Cite your sources


Becoming a better writer starts before you sit down to type out your paper. You must read and write often. Whether that means personal reading and journaling, or taking courses that emphasize both of these things.

This doesn’t mean you limit your elective courses to English—any course that helps you think and communicate is going to help you improve your reading and writing.

Once you are in the course, engage with the content throughout. Don’t rush through any concepts or skim the material – immerse yourself in it. By doing this from the beginning you will save yourself time in the long run.

Now that you’ve done some of this prep work, when you sit down to complete an essay assignment, start by reading the rubric and making an outline of your ideas.

Your outline should clearly state the overall point of your paper and that objective should be substantiated with information from the literature you read.

If you have any trouble deciding your point, compare opposing viewpoints that might help you decide where to start.

Depending on the type of essay you may include personal information and facts or base your information on outside side sources.

No matter what, if you use outside sources, cite them! Citation makes you a more creditable writer and ensures you avoid plagiarism.

Test for doneness with grammar and spell check!

For more information about how to edit your paper, read When and How to Check Your Writing.