Whether you’re writing for work, school, research, or enjoyment, using a computer to do so, is the most efficient way to go. Computer writing is certainly a skill that’s distinct from writing on paper, though.
It’s also a skill that’s unique from just browsing the web or typing to friends on social media. To really write a document on a computer requires a little thought, some tools, and the right frame of mind.
We’re going to explore the idea of writing on a computer today, giving you the tools you need to be as effective as possible.
Let’s get started:
10 Fundamentals of Computer Writing
No matter what you’re trying to achieve, implementing the following tips should put you in a position to work efficiently and without too many snags.
Practice Proper Typing
You’re probably an expert typer by now, but not everyone has had to use a computer enough to become fluent in typing.
The QWERTY keyboard is set up in a way that allows you to place your hands gently down with either pointer finger sitting on the keys that have little ridges. Those keys are “F” and “J.”
If your left pointer lands on “F” and your right pointer lands on “J,” your hands will be in the proper position to hit every key on the board without raising your wrists. Your wrists should rest in front of the keyboard and your fingers shouldn’t need to cross over one another or move too far in any direction.
It might take a while to get the hang of typing this way, but it’s sure to be a lot faster than poking away an essay with only your pointer fingers!
Get Competent with a Word Processor
Some projects will require that you use a particular word processor. In most cases, though, you’ll be free to use the one of your choice.
It’s smart to use common word processors. Typically, that means getting to know Microsoft Word or the word processor on your Google Drive. Google Docs and Microsoft Word are used most commonly, and knowing these inside and out will put you in a good position for anything you’ll have to do after the work is done.
Things like downloading, exporting, and sharing are all made easy with these platforms. Additionally, if you have any questions about the processors, your colleagues are likely to have the answers.
Any repetitive motion you do has an effect on your body over time. The same goes for writing by hand or driving a car. As you work the same motion over and over, your body will get aches and pains.
When it comes to computer writing, you might want to get a wrist pad to take the stress off of your hand’s ligaments. You should also make sure that the keyboard is placed in a location that’s comfortable for you.
Further, ensure that your posture is good and you’re aware of any stress that develops in your body as you type.
It’s never fun to stare at a screen for hours on end. Our brains get fuzzy and our focus is broken when we’re forced to sit in one position for too long.
Your writing will be a lot better if you give yourself a break from time to time. Many people like to take breaks every hour or every two hours. When you hit that time marker, give yourself a moment to stand up, stretch out, and revisit your work with a fresh perspective.
Use the Tools at Your Disposal
There are a lot of writing tools that you can download and implement into your work. In most cases, these are tools that examine your writing in real-time and let you know when you’ve made a mistake or things that could be better.
Issues like misspelled words, excessive adverbs, or incorrect tenses are all common problems with most people. Even those who write professionally can’t be expected to memorize the minutia of the English language.
You may remember finding errors in your assigned readings when you were in school. That means that even the classics, which have been poured over by professionals for years, have little errors.
Tools like Grammarly or other online editors can help you prevent errors and learn new things when you’re corrected.
A large part of writing on the computer is knowing how to use your computer to do research. That means identifying good sources from Google searches, getting a feel for the research sites around the web, and understanding how to find particular parts of long pieces.
For example, knowing how to search a PDF on mac can save you hours of reading. When you can identify a snippet or sentence in a three-thousand-word article, you’re saving yourself a great deal of effort.
Change the Scenery
If you’re lucky enough to have a laptop, use that fact to your advantage. The reason people hate working in cubicles is that they’re trapped.
You’re confined to a 5×5 square that offers very little. Take your writing to the town. Hit coffee shops, go to parks, and explore your options. You’ll find that you’re much more productive when you have a variety of office spaces.
Facebook can take 15 minutes, followed by 15 minutes of Instagram, followed by a few vaguely interesting Youtube Videos.
One of the only downsides of working online is that you’re faced with infinite distractions. Set yourself up with some rules about breaks and distractions.
Activate Your Voice
Writing is boring when you feel like a mouthpiece for every academic paper ever. The rules they teach you in school are meant to be used as fundamentals. Michael Jordan wouldn’t have been so great if he stopped at the fundamentals, though.
Try to inject your personality into the writing you do. This will make it more enjoyable to read and write. It’s possible to hit all of the requirements of an assignment without sounding like an automaton.
Get Quick Feedback
Use the internet to your advantage. You’re in contact with almost everyone in the world as well as a lot of proofreading resources.
If you don’t have any friends you’d trust to proofread, find an online community where writing is the focus. You’re bound to find a trusted companion who can read your writing and give you useful critiques.
Need a Little More Guidance?
Over time, computer writing will become second nature to you. If you’re still hitting some snags, though, we have more tips and tricks for you to utilize.
Explore our site for more insight into how to become a better writer, worker, and communicator.