Academic writing and blogging are two terms not usually mentioned alongside one another. Many consider them to be like oil and water; they never mix. Typically, the former is more serious and persuasive in its approach. Blogging, on the other hand, is considered informal and not suitable in academic discourse. Many professors even discourage students from citing blogs in their works. Their sentiments are somewhat justified; there are so many blogs online today that contain irrelevant and totally untrue information. They would rather the students get their ideas from peer-reviewed journals and other academic works.
I am only a college student, why should I blog? Considering it deeper, one would find out that both forms are not necessarily on opposite sides. In fact, they can be complementary. For many students, working on a thesis or even just a research paper is a hassle. But little do they know that the practice of blogging can help them produce better papers overall. Many would rather patronize a service that offers them a research paper for sale. While getting a paper for sale that is not bad, students need to become better writers and researchers themselves. And in different ways, blogging helps that.
Blogging makes you a better writer
Many great writers have testified to the fact that getting to their current level has been a result of a lot of practice. This is true, not only for academic papers but other forms as well. Writing is indeed a skill that has to be sharpened with consistent practice over time. So, it is more a product of a well-formed habit than it is a talent. It is, therefore, a way to develop the habit. The result is that as time goes, you can notice yourself getting better. You would improve how well you are able to catch errors and generally shape your content in a better way. This knowledge is transferred when you have a paper to work on as well.
Another way blogging makes you better is that it helps you write more concisely. Most online posts are no longer than a thousand words. Therefore, a blogger knows that they must be able to compress their ideas (no matter how huge) into a small format for their audience to read. This helps in academic writing as well. In a college thesis, you are expected to pick just one point and argue it out. Certainly, it does not give room for frivolities, nor does it welcome too many ideas. When you blog consistently, you learn how to cut excesses in your works and maintain focus on the main idea alone.
Blogging makes you a better researcher
It is okay to write about random things. But usually when blogging, ahead of putting pen to paper (or fingers to a keyboard), one must have first engaged in some research which may be very extensive or not, depending on the information needed. Pre-writing tasks include determining the topic to work on and how to find enough information, then followed by crawling sources (including the internet). As you do this, consistently, you become better at knowing where and how to find the best information. You are also able to determine if what you have found is good enough or not. These are attributes of a good researcher, and cultivating them would help your academic writing to a great extent.
Every student knows that the toughest stage of doing a thesis is not the actual writing itself, but finding data and information to support your point. Some may think this is as easy as a simple Google search but eventually find out that perhaps only very few of the results for the search would be useful. Therefore, it is important to cultivate researching skills beforehand through research blogging. There is almost no better way to do this than to write regularly. It makes you develop a good eye for relevant information.
Blogging makes you a more confident writer
One of the greatest fears in the world is the fear of public speaking. But we hardly take cognizance of the fact that many people do not write because they are anxious about the craft itself. Just like the fear of public speaking, they worry so much about what others would think of what they have written and if they would ever be good enough. Of course, writers are told not to depend on acceptance to hone their craft, but as anyone would tell you, a complete lack of acceptance can be killing. It is even worse with academic writing, where your grades depend on your professor’s acceptance of your work or lack of it.
The way to overcome most fears is to do the things you fear anyway. It works the same way with writing. You can only overcome the anxiety by doing it more. The more you publish your works, the more comfortable you become. It is also the more you would be able to accept and handle criticisms. And criticisms are vital in academic writing. No matter how good your work is, your professor would still point out things you did wrong, or that you can improve on. For less confident students, that is their moment of despair. But for confident ones, they only understand it as a call to get better. Confidence would not exactly improve the quality of your work; one can confidently put down nonsense. However, it makes you more receptive to criticisms, which subsequently improve your abilities.
In the end, one can only agree that academic writing and blogging are not as diverse as we like to think they are. Blogging, of course, accommodates different styles, but that is, in fact, a good thing. From making you more confident and consistent in making you improve in researching, publishing your ideas via a blog really do make you better. That is why you should blog.
For a start, platforms such as WordPress and Medium give you free platforms to disseminating your thoughts online. Or if running a personal blog comes off as challenging, you can offer to write for different organizations. Some would gladly pay you for it, while others may not be able to, but that is okay.