University Writing Center Blog

Posted on February 6th, 2017 in Writing Strategies by Jennifer Mahoney

by Brett Green, Guest Blogger, IUPUI Undergraduate

Have you ever read a paper and had difficulty finding the true meaning behind it? We are all guilty of writing a paper of that sort at some point in our writing career. Sometimes the problem is just that the author is writing how they speak, but in moving from speaking to writing, they lose clarity. It becomes difficult to read, and it lacks an authoritative voice.

If you ever catch yourself having this problem, here are some ways to address it:

1. Show ownership and take a stance
– Show the reader from the beginning that you know your arguments. You know what you came to say, so show off the facts that you brought to make your paper yours!

2. Be bold and confident
– Sometimes when you produce a paper that reads how you talk, you seem unsure of your idea and implications of the paper. Be confident in the ideas your bringing to the table. Be bold with your vocabulary – use words and phrases you might not use in everyday speech.

3. Be informative
– If you don’t know how to make the change at first, a good place to start is by just flat out being informative, simply give the facts. That’s what you might have thought you were writing do this time, try writing with a sense of authority. Write like to inform people about this brand new topic they’ve never heard of before.

It is perfectly acceptable to DRAFT like you speak, but be certain that once your draft is done you REVISE!

If you have trouble incorporating these three things in your work, this website might help: and of course, visit the University Writing Center!