Guest Blogger: Pam Johnson: How to Evaluate Your Writing Skills

15 Apr

People are becoming increasingly more aware of how important it is to have superb writing skills. This rule does not apply only in the humanities or literary fields, but it also expands out into a diverse array of occupations. Therefore, you might be quite interested in the steps you can take to improve your own writing.


Old Typewriter


Read Out Loud

When you are reading your own paper and your eyes are scanning the words, it can be really difficult to find mistakes. You know what the paper is supposed to say, so you do not wind up noticing where you have made errors. However, reading the paper out loud is going to force you to slow down. You are going to start to see more of your own mistakes, and you are going to hear if sentences sound awkward. Furthermore, you will likely begin to see when you use the incorrect word.

Buy Grammar Books

A major part of writing is how the paragraphs are organized and if the sentences seem to flow together. However, if you have incorrect grammar, then you have incorrect writing. In order to ensure that your writing is really up to par, it is time to purchase some grammar books. When you have a question as you are writing, you can look up the answer in the book. As are you inputting the correct comma or semicolon, make sure you completely understand why you are doing it.

Visit Writing Centers

If you are a college student, your campus likely has a writing center. At writing centers, you have the ability to work with a professional tutor. This person is going to help you work on your mistakes and to work through issues with various problems involved with writing. For example, you might focus on the organization of the paper or you might talk about a specific grammatical issue with which you are struggling. Having another person go over the paper with you can be a majorly important tool.

Enroll in Courses

Another excellent way to really evaluate your writing and to see how you are doing is to sign up for a class. You might take a class at the college level. If so, look for some workshops. Doing workshops, you will usually read the papers of other students and they will read yours so that you all have the ability to critique one another’s work. Of course, you could also look for some writing clubs in your area too. Through these clubs, you will not have to worry about paying high fees for classes or working toward obtaining a certain grade. You can work with other writers to learn how to craft better pieces.

Evaluating your own writing skills can be a bit of a challenge, but having the tools to do so makes it much easier. One way to really complete this task is to ask other people to evaluate your writing and to look some samples over with people who are professionals in the field.

Author Pam Johnson is an author of sociology who spends a lot of time evaluating her own writing skills. She obtained her degree from one of the Best Top 10 Online Bachelor’s in Sociology Programs in the country.



Posted by on April 15, 2013 in Guest Blogger, Writing


7 responses to “Guest Blogger: Pam Johnson: How to Evaluate Your Writing Skills

  1. Elizabeth Williams

    April 15, 2013 at 1:29 pm



  2. Frank Karl

    April 16, 2013 at 8:51 am

    I recently read out loud a short story I have been working on. With highlighter in hand, I quickly found sentences, words, phrases that sounded clunky and dull. They got highlighted. I scribbled words in margins and crossed out unneeded words.

    Try reading your story, article, report or book out loud. Betcha you can improve it.


  3. wildninja

    April 16, 2013 at 5:40 pm

    Reading one’s own work out loud is a very valuable editing tool. This is something one of my professors impressed upon me while finishing my M.A. and it’s been put to good use. Great article!


  4. nwharrisbooks

    April 18, 2013 at 9:17 pm

    Good stuff, thanks for taking the time to share this info.


  5. Liz Lindsay

    April 20, 2013 at 7:11 am

    I’m fortunate to be writing with a partner and reading out loud has been a top priority with us. We’ll catch so many more mistakes, even typos, and it really helps with dialogue flow. Great article!


  6. win blevins

    July 16, 2013 at 5:35 pm

    Grammar. Was an editor, doing acquisitions, at TOR-Forge for fourteen years, and grammar was never a big concern. I was looking for storytelling skills. Making me do a LOT of work would be unacceptable, but being finicky isn’t necessary. That’s what copy editors are for.



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