My english writing skills are poor, what can I do to improve?

I am a grade 12 student heading to college, and my writing skills are poor. I've had a hard time with analyzing and understanding english writing. For example, when the teacher asks, "why has the author done so and so this way?", I never have the slightest idea. When someone answers this question in class, it makes much more sense to me. I guess I never "read between the lines". =S. -I have a tough time expressing essays. I HATE point,proof, analysis, and that's what pretty much english is about! I can never write a good point and a supporting analysis for my quote. -I also hate poetry and understanding what the poet is really attempting to infer.- Using big words doesn't always work out to my advantage, because I usually misinterpret the meaning and place it in the wrong context. I need to use much more sophisticated words, especially seeing that I am in a university english course!I always panic and I usually end up writing a whole bunch of bs in the end where in the end, I recieve a low mark. This is embarrassing seeing that I am in grade 12 and I need a good mark in english in order to maintain a high average. It not only affects my english mark but my other classes as well ( I write essays in other classes)What can I do to help build up my skills? I know reading is helpful for sure, but what else?

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One Response to “My english writing skills are poor, what can I do to improve?”

  1. victoir says:

    1. Read The Elements of Style. Very helpful – it has a section of commonly misused words and different sentence styles. It’s a good reference book for when writing essays.2. Know the different sentence styles and fallacies and so on. Try to incorporate this into your writing (for fallacies, try to avoid writing them!).3. Look up words in the dictionary before using them! To know more sophisticated words, try learning the SAT words on flashcards, reading, and just trying to use a new word every day. Repetition is the key!4. Ask your English teacher or another student for additional help.5. Keep on looking over poems/stories/etc., ask thorough questions when you don’t understand, and never give up. You’ll start to see improvement for sure.6. Go on apcentral and look at the past AP English exams. For the Free-responses, they have student examples and an explanation as to what’s right and what’s wrong.