As a teacher I have seen many students struggle when they have to write a paper, it doesn´t matter if it is a letter or an essay. That is why I want to suggest some tips you could use when writing.
The first aspect to take into account is what kind of text you are writing, is it formal or informal? If you are not sure, you should also check the audience, who will read your paper, a friend, your boss, your teacher, your classmates, a colleague, the dean of the faculty, the store manager, etc.; according to the person who will receive your letter, article or essay you will use a formal or informal style. Besides, you should keep in mind your writing purpose. Perhaps you just want to greet an old friend, report a situation, or give your opinion and arguments on a topic.
The second issue is planning. Brainstorming and outlines will help you a lot to organize your ideas, you can start that process by using some key words which later you will develop into ideas. Remember your compositions should include an introduction, development and closing of the message you want to convey.
On the other hand, there are some general guidelines to avoid common pitfalls. For example, it is a good idea to keep your sentences simple and direct to increase understanding because clear, concise, well-constructed sentences improve your writing quality. Your sentences should be brief, aim for about 20 words or less. Ask yourself what is truly important and how you can simplify what you want to say. Reading sentences aloud helps to keep them short and sweet.
Finally, I recommend to look at samples of the kind of text you want to write. They offer patterns which you can follow in terms of style, punctuation and structure. However, these are not the only tips you should bear in mind, that’s why we will continue working on writing advices in future blogs and of course your suggestions are more than welcome in the comments.