Reading and writing are two skillsets that are imperative in school. Any successful student will tell you that both reading and writing are keys to improving grades and learning. You cannot be successful in school without reading and writing. Fortunately, these are two highly valuable skills that can also be easily improved. However, keep in mind that to get better at anything you must be dedicated to practicing regularly, the same goes for reading and writing. Here are some easy ways to improve your reading and writing skills to help you become a successful student.
- Read for Fun- The first thing you must do to improve your reading skills is to learn to love to read. Instead of reaching for academic articles or books, start by finding articles and books related to your interests. Reading books about subjects you are already interested in can help the reading process to be more enjoyable. Not only will you learn more about the subject, but you will improve your reading skills at the same time.
- Skim and Scan – Another way to improve your reading skills is to learn reading strategies that can help you to complete the task more quickly. Learning to use skimming and scanning as a reading strategy effectively will help you get through academic reading much better. You need to skim and scan for important information in the reading passage and highlight that information. Then you should read the article in its entirety to get the complete context of the passage. Skimming and scanning helps you identify important information so that you can understand more intensively how it fits into the context of the literature.
- Annotate – Another important step to improving your reading is to annotate your reading passages. Annotations can help you evaluate your understanding of the text as well as help you remember important information that is in the reading later. There are many ways to annotate a passage. Some of the most common techniques are to highlight important information and underline words or phrases that might be unclear or that you do not understand. You can also take notes in the margins such as summarizing a paragraph in your own words to check your understanding.
- Keep A Journal – Reading and writing go hand-in-hand so that when you work on your reading skills you also work on your writing skills. To further improve your writing skills, you can also practice writing on a regular basis. Just as you should learn to read for fun, you should also learn to write for fun. Keeping a personal journal can help you to improve your writing skills and at the same time help with your mental health. Keeping a journal is a great way to practice writing daily and it alleviates the pressure of writing because you are essentially just writing for yourself.
- Find Writing Prompts – When you are in the beginning stages of trying to improve your writing, figuring out how to start or even what to write about can be challenging. If you find you are stuck about what to write about even if it is just in your personal journal, try looking for writing prompts online to help you get started. There are many blogs, websites, and even apps that have a vast collection of different writing prompts for you to practice your writing skills. You can find writing prompts aimed for writing fiction, personal journal writing, and even academic writing prompts to help you practice the various genres of writing.
- Visit A Writing Center or Tutor – In order to be a successful student in college, you need to be able to ask for help or look for resources when you need help. Most schools have some type of academic support for their students. Check to see if your school has a writing center you can visit or tutors available to help you find out how you can improve in your writing. Often you can even bring a writing assignment and they can help you figure out how you can improve your assignment.
Remember, the only way to improve your reading and writing is to read and write. Reading and writing are lifelong skills that can always be improved on. Practicing these skills in school will also help you in the long run throughout your academic career and when you enter the workforce.