Feeling the urge to go back to school or start a new degree? It doesn’t matter what type of degree you are interested in pursuing; as a freelance writer, any sort of additional education has the potential to add a wealth of positive changes to your writing. Even if it seems like pursuing a degree may be a waste of time or more effort than it’s worth, especially if you’re already starting to head down a career path that you love, there are plenty of reasons why getting a degree can improve your writing. Read on for some of the top ways you can benefit by hitting the books:
1. Understand and analyze research findings.
Whether you are studying environmental science, literature or psychology, there will always be plenty of research to read and analyze as part of a college course. However, academic research functions in a specific language, and students need to understand research procedures and research findings before being able to interpret research results. As a writer, actually studying academic research in a school setting will allow you to make your own judgments about research findings in all disciplines from then on. Rather than just regurgitating the headlines or assuming that researchers know it all, you will have the power to dissect and critique the research findings that you include in your writing.
2. Add new perspectives to your everyday knowledge.
Going through a degree program is definitely a lot of work. But it is also one of the best ways to expand your mind. You can choose to focus on a particular subject that you may be interested in writing about by choosing a major in that field, whether that be political science, economics or even a criminal justice major. However, college is also a good time to take advantage of the opportunity to study a wide array of subjects, learn about new cultures, and delve into topics that you may never have talked about otherwise. College is the best place to do these things, and even online or evening courses will provide the same opportunities to grow. You will then be able to approach your writing from an even more heightened perspective with the ability to incorporate wide arrays of knowledge.
3. Practice writing in a structured environment.
You can write all day, and, even if you have a loyal readership or take the time to ask friends and family to critique your work, it can be difficult to grow and change as a writer without being pushed in new directions. Getting a degree will actually do just that. Regardless of the discipline you choose, you will have to do some sort of writing as part of your coursework. This will push you to learn new information, create your own opinions and arguments and then frame those arguments in a clear and concise way. The more you take classes that require you to synthesize new information, the more writing practice you will actually receive.
Melissa Miller spent many years working odd jobs like street pantomime and burro grooming before finally admitting it was time to get her associate degree. Now she has sworn her life to helping others do the same by explaining the often tricky world of online education. Direct any questions or comments to [email protected].