5 Easy Ways to Improve Your Writing Skills

Whether you’re a student, young professional, in grad school, or already working, good writing skills are very important to your long-term success. Like any other skill, writing is one you can practice and improve. Here is our suggested pathway to success!

1. Understand your purpose

Good writing starts with a goal in mind. What is the purpose of what you are writing? Who will be reading it? What do you hope to achieve from this paper, essay, or email?

Whatever your answers may be, it is important to define the purpose of your writing in order to stay focused. This will help you stay on the right path by clarifying your direction!

2. Outline your ideas

Once you’ve defined your purpose, write down your ideas before you start writing. A strong outline helps you avoid distractions, such as going off-topic, and helps you compose a structured and understandable piece of writing that will make sense to your readers. 

An outline consists of an introduction to your topic., what you plan to include in the body and finally, a conclusion.

3. Read more & get inspired

Simply put, the more you read, the better you’ll become at forming sentences and choosing the right words to convey your message to the reades. Diversify your reading material and take note of work you like. See if you can apply the same technique to improve your writing. Please note that this is not the same as plagiarism, because you are not copying anyone’s work. Instead, we are suggesting you learn from their expertise and channel come of their techniques to develop your own work.

4. Embrace simplicity

There is a lot of value and beauty in simple writing. Think about it, there is no point in writing something that people may struggle to understand. It is often best to avoid using overly complicated and unfamiliar words. 

Additionally, avoid over-explaining and providing too much detail in your writing. It could be that readers get carried away by the trivial details and lose interest in the main purpose of your writing. A good way to recognize whether a piece of information should be included or not is to consider if it’s essential to the purpose. If it’s not, then remove it and tell your story as clearly as possible.

5. Add a personal touch to your writing

Let your personality do the talking and your voice will come through on your writing! Infuse your work with your personal brand and individuality. The last thing we want is for your writing to sound typical or generic. Adding a personal touch, like an anecdote, makes your work more interesting and can make a huge difference in bringing your stories to life!

Note: We do not advise doing this in professional or formal pieces of writing. 

Most importantly, practice! Practicing writing with a tutor can help you identify your weaknesses and give you the tools you need to improve! The more you write, the more you learn, and the better you’ll get at writing. 

4 Unique and Unconventional Ways to Successfully Network

By Allen Bell and Allison Goldman

We’ve all had chance encounters that have often changed the course of our lives — or opportunities that fell in our laps just by being at the right place at the right time. Very few successful people would discount the value of networks and networking; offline or online, there are more opportunities than ever to connect.

But what about those opportunities that present themselves routinely that may require a little more than the click of a mouse? Those situations that might require a little more effort and personal risk (nobody likes rejection), but may offer a reward far greater than passive, routine networking. Those potentially life altering “right place right time” moments might be less random if we did a better job of recognizing and acting on the opportunities that most of us don’t recognize or ignore on a regular basis.

The following are tried and true ideas that may inspire you to conscientiously incorporate networking into every aspect of your life. You may discover that great connections and good fortune do not have to be as random as you think.

1. Initiate a conversation in an unexpected setting

Have you ever overheard an engaging conversation relevant to you in a coffee shop or airport? Next time don’t hesitate to join in and introduce yourself; you never know who you might be crossing paths. It never hurts to join or initiate a conversation if you have something applicable to say and have the opportunity to connect with an individual or a group of people in an organic way.

As an example, I once while flying to Chicago unknowingly sat next to the CEO and the vice president of a billion-dollar company based in Canada. The two were having a witty conversation, and I interjected with a joking comment. My joke was reciprocated, and as a result we spent the remainder of the flight chatting about both business and leisure topics, later had lunch together at Chicago O’Hare Airport, and finally exchanged direct contact information for future business opportunities.

This approach isn’t just applicable to business-related conversations, but is a practice that you should utilize in all facets of your life. Even more astonishing is engaging in conversations with random people in foreign cities. You wouldn’t believe how often speaking to a random person results in additional connections in the future or the discovery that you have a common acquaintance.

2. Seek advice and contacts from notable public figures

Write down three people you admire that are public figures. Don’t limit yourself here. Whether you admire the CEO of a Fortune 500 company, a notable entrepreneur, or Bill Gates, truthfully list a few people you admire.

Now think, if you had the opportunity to have a conversation or an email exchange with these individuals, what would you ask them? How would these questions relate to your career or startup, or how would they help you advance your business or your personal goals?

Next, do some research on these individuals online, starting with LinkedIn. See if you can find out a direct email address or the contact information for their administrative person (typically the gatekeeper). Put together a thoughtful email or voice mail message explaining the reason you are reaching out to them and give it a try. It does help to explain why you admire this person, the advice you are seeking, and how you will use the advice given. Don’t get easily dejected and stop after the first rejection.

You’d be surprised at what can come from this activity. We’ve had some of our colleagues connect with anyone from Steve Wozniak to James Franco with this approach. All have been receptive to at least an email exchange or short phone conversation. Be sure to ask if you can keep in touch with these individuals or if they can connect you with others who may help you reach your goals.

3. Cultivate nearby “mind farms”

Most cities or even small towns have access to academic centers. In recent years, major universities and colleges have adjusted curriculums to increase experiential learning opportunities for their students, especially business schools. This has opened the door for startups and other emerging businesses to become case studies for a range of classes, from marketing to finance to organizational behavior, to name a few.

In our case, SeaTurtle Sports has been the beneficiary of two case studies: one for a Harvard marketing class that provided an analysis of our digital strategy and recommendations to improve performance; the other for a University of Charleston masters’ program in strategic leadership. The class focused on maintaining an open and innovative culture within our organization as it grows.

In both cases we’ve been able to apply many of the recommendations to improve our business; we’ve opened doors to those interested in working with and for SeaTurtle Sports in a variety of capacities, and we’ve increased awareness of our company in our hometown. This style of networking has reaped benefits for SeaTurtle Sports both in the short and long-term.

4. Find the social hub in your city

Find the coffee shops and bars where entrepreneurs hang out in you city. Assuming you are not in New York, L.A., or a big Texas city where you stumble across fellow entrepreneurs, you will need to seek out the three or four prime locations where business concepts and startup war stories naturally buzz throughout the room.

Look for those “networking” events put on by local chambers or the entrepreneur clubs at area universities. In New Orleans, the Tulane Entrepreneur Association (TEA) is very active and has frequent socials. Attending these events can accelerate introductions to like-minded individuals where it is typical to compare notes and often leverage and trade resources.

In the end, some of the best advice you’ll ever receive for your business may come from entrepreneurial peers and university students who bring fresh ideas, perspectives, and an unmatched enthusiasm for beginning their professional careers.


Six degrees of separation really does describe our modern world, and there is no better way to leverage this reality than by increasing personal connections. If everyone adopted a philosophy that we’d enhance more lives by moving the default from six degrees to even five, we’d potentially accelerate a lot of careers. Therefore, networking, when viewed with a fresh lens, may be the most powerful tool you can use to reach your business and personal goals.

Repost from AllBusiness (22 Feb 2020) https://www.allbusiness.com/unique-unconventional-ways-network-21685-1.html

Don’t Get Caught Making These Grammar Mistakes

No matter what you’re writing about or who you’re writing to, you should always be using correct grammar. Use the tips below to elevate your writing & catch those small mistakes!

1. Verb tense shift

A common grammar mistake is the random shift of verb tenses in the same sentence. Be sure to use the same verb tense throughout your writing to avoid confusing the audience. Think about whether you need to be writing in past or present tense.

Incorrect: She waves at me and then I waved back and smiled.

Correct: She waved at me and then I waved back and smiled.

2. Comma Splice

A comma splice is basically using a comma when you don’t need one. If you are joining two independent sentences using a comma, stop and think again. Chances are, you should be using a conjunction or a period.

Incorrect: She ate a lot of candy, her stomach was aching.

Correct: She ate a lot of candy. Her stomach was aching.

Correct: She ate a lot of candy, so her stomach was aching.

3. Run-on sentences

A run-on sentence is when you join two complete sentences together without any coordinating conjunction or punctuation. If you ever notice you’ve been writing a sentence for 2 or 3 lines, consider if it’s a run-on sentence and can be broken into two shorter sentences.

Incorrect: Her colleague brought chocolate chip cookies to the office however she is on a diet.

Correct: Her colleague brought chocolate chip cookies to the office. However, she is on a diet.  

4. Excessive use of passive voice

Even though the use of passive voice is often taught in English classes and it is not grammatically incorrect, it can over complicate your writing and make it difficult for your readers to understand. Use active voice – it is simpler, and actually beneficial for personal pieces of writing, such as your letter of interest to a college!

Incorrect: Those postcards were collected by my father during his trip last summer.

Correct: My father collected those postcards during his trip last summer. 

These are just a few tips you should keep in mind to improve your writing. We may be unable to go into much detail in these blog posts, but remember, one of our writing tutors can help you work through these challenges and enhance your writing quality!