Getting the "A"Edit


Classes in college have a large range in difficulty. Sometimes it may seem that you are completing all your work, but just can’t quite make yourself an A-student. Here are some helpful tips for giving your grade the push forward:

  • Do the work
Yes, may seem obvious, but it is sometimes easy to fall behind on the reading, or put off a paper. Staying on top of the class materials will make you feel more comfortable in class, and stop the necessity of having to pull all-nighters.

  • Keep secondary sources as secondary sources
Sparknotes is great. You will read several books that are difficult to understand, and there are only benefits to using a supplemental source like Sparknotes and Cliffnotes along with the book. But don’t use them instead of doing to assigned reading. The novels and plays were assigned so you could appreciate them in their complete form, not for you to read a summary in hopes to do well on a small quiz.

  • Visit your professors
You will encounter few lecture halls on the professional writing track. Most classes are small, and therefore the professor probably knows you more as an individual than as a student number. Go ahead and talk to your professors; see them in their office hours. They will be more than happy to give you tips for improving in their class, and improving as a professional writer.

  • Understand there is help all around you
The university provides various ways to help you write your paper. Professors are willing to critique your essays before you hand them in. The Writing Center in Shanks Hall is full of people willing to help. But also don’t be afraid to ask friends and family. Having anyone read over your paper can be beneficial.

Classes You Will EncouterEdit

Classes in the professional writing track will most likely one of three types, all with different approaches on how you confront their work:

  • Reading Centered: Classes like this include Critical Reading, English Literature, and Shakespeare. These classes require a lot of reading, and your grade is is made up of more of reading quizzes and response essays, and less of exams. Keep up on your reading and you should have little trouble with the class.
  • Technical Centered: Classes like this include Creating User Documentation, Professional Writing, and Designing Documents for Print. These classes are less about what words you put on a page and more about how you put the words on a page. Each class is different, but it doesn't hurt to put in 110%, and be a little creative.
  • Grammar Centered: Classes like this include Technical Editing and Style and English Syntax. These classes are designed to help you with your English grammar. Pay attention in class, and you'll discover your editing ability increase drastically.

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