EDITORIAL NOTEBOOK

Mastering the art of writing

Tips for getting that ‘A’ on your next HASS paper

As someone who usually writes an article, sometimes multiple, weekly. I often get asked a lot how I’m able to write so much. To be honest, sometimes I’m not even sure. Writing 400+ words a week has become somewhat easy, and in turn, it has made me a better writer for not only the newspaper, but for my classes and professional work. So I think giving some tips on how to create fully formed and unfluffed text could be a huge help to a few readers.

First, I find I write best about things I enjoy since I know more about them and it makes the process of writing less like pulling teeth. Even if the focus of the work is not based on what you like, I usually find ways to connect what you enjoy to the work to make the piece more enriching, like showing a connection between Shakespeare and West Side Story, or even recursion with Inception. This doesn’t just help to make the writing process more fun, but it also helps the reader in getting more interested as well. I think any teacher will find the paper that makes a meaningful connection to some movie or TV show more enjoyable than the countless dry and dutiful works in their pile. But, a caution with this approach is that the connection must mean something; do not ramble about Breaking Bad for the sake of trying to get your reader to say, “Oh, I get that reference.” You want them to rethink their perception of the original work through retrospection of the connected material, in the process strengthening or clarifying your argument.

If the point of the work, however, is to be factual, one strategy is to simply give the viewer what they want. Present the facts clearly, without repeating your findings just to pull it into a paragraph. Some see this as a great way to pad a paper, but anyone can see right through this strategy. Instead, you should explain the significance of your findings, how it relates to the project, and though it may not be text, think of using diagrams or visuals to illustrate your point. In short, explain why the facts are important to your point.

Words are supposed to be enriching for the author and connect the author to his or her audience. If you treat your writing like a boring job, then how do you expect your audience to take their time to read it? Enjoy the writing process and in turn the reader will enjoy your work. It gets easier, trust me.