There is almost no chance you can go through college without struggling with the English 101 course. There are some experimental programs that don’t include it, but in fact, they just name it differently. The secret of its popularity is — it is a standard, basic, absolutely necessary course on composition. Our education is based on writing papers — essays, research papers, presentations, capstone projects, term papers, etc. If you don’t master writing essays, you can’t proceed. Even if your learning capacities and cognitive abilities are noteworthy, without being a good essay writer, you can’t move forward successfully.
English 101 requires attention. It is the first time you have to be that much focused on essay writing. Of course, students start writing an essay similar to college once back in high school, but it doesn’t mean they are ready for English 101 course enough. Here are some tips on how to improve English 101 writing skills in a school or first-year college.
#1 Note Everything You Read
It may come as a surprise, but your memory is really going to fail you. With all the information you have to pay attention to, it is very likely that you will forget most of the facts from the books and textbooks you read. You have to come up with a system for notes, and take them when reading, This way later, when you need to find relevant information, go back to some ideas, support your argument with valid references, you will be able to do it in no time. Time is precious not only because life is beautiful, but because the deadlines are tight and always closer than you think. Also, make notes during lectures, especially when your professor mentions some extra reading. If you pay attention to that reading and cite it in your paper, you are likely to get more points for that.
#2 Know Your Textbook and Use It for Tips
Your textbook is not an enemy. Maybe it is not the best friend you have, but often it is much more helpful and relevant than any online tips or advice you can get from your peers. Read your textbook carefully and address it when you have trouble with writing. As time passes, textbooks become much more engaging, many of them give links to databases with good sources for papers, show the required writing structure, help to cite and quote, give really good hints of formatting. Don’t neglect reading some chapters several times and making notes — these efforts won’t go amiss.
#3 Use Grammar Checkers and Other Online Tools
While we are sure you should use your English 101 textbooks and grammar handbooks every time you start writing an essay, you can also add some online services to make your writing better. For example, use different grammar checkers to spot mistakes and technical omissions. Many of them (like Grammarly, Hemingway), have free versions, and they are good enough for most of the assignments. Of course, if you decide to invest and buy pro versions, you will make yourself a favor. Using pro versions, you learn much more, especially about stylistic rules. You can also use a citation generator to make in-text citations and entries for the reference page faster. Find the one with good reviews and make sure it uses the latest versions of MLA and APA guidelines.
#4 Ask for Help to Avoid Procrastination Trap
Procrastination is not equal to laziness. Procrastination often occurs when you have too many things to do and to write, and you feel like you will never be able to finish all of that on time, so you just don’t even start. This type of behavior is typical for most of us. There is nothing to be ashamed of, you need to know how to address it effectively. First, you need to write down all the tasks you have, all the assignments, everything from your to-do list. You need to clear your mind. Later, you need to choose the tasks you will do yourself and some tasks which you will delegate. Find a professional writing service, form a “write my paper please” request, and get back to assignments you’ve decided to finish on your own. Buying even one or two papers can be a really efficient move to fight procrastination and get back to writing.
#5 Use Time-Management Techniques
Often, to succeed in the English 101 course, you have to change your time-management approach. Writing is a job, a routine job not always interesting and inspiring. Not to get stuck, you need to plan it wisely. We recommend you use a well-recognized Pomodoro technique to plan your writing activities. Write in sprints, rest between them, have brief and longer rest periods planned, and you will be surprised how efficient your writing can be.
English 101 is one of the most important courses you have to pass in college, so it is a good idea to focus on it entirely, and use these and other tips to master it.