Underdeveloped Writing Skills

The problem

Plagiarism occurs because students have insufficiently developed their writing skills.

The solution

Writing well involves skills that you can learn and develop throughout university.

A few tips to get you started:

  • Come to The Learning Centre to see a Writing Assistant or attend a writing workshop.
  • Organise yourself well enough so that you are able to spend time re-writing and editing your draft.
  • Instead of using quotations, practice expressing information or ideas in your own words. This demonstrates that you have understood, and are able to interpret it.
  • Look at the way in which writers in your discipline use language and try to emulate them.
  • Learn to use the specialised language of your field correctly.
  • Try to vary your expression. For instance, don’t use ‘however’ every time you use a transition signal.
  • Write using a dictionary and a thesaurus.
  • Learn how to write well constructed paragraphs. (see Five Steps to Better Paragraphs)
  • Develop your skills.

See next: Exercise - Using Academic Language