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Focus more on works of famous writers. Those who have a good diction. When you read books, pay attention to the style of writing that the authors make, and try to "sound" like them when you're writing. —He's mostly a controversial writer (that is, if you're overtly religious), but one of my favorite style of writing is how Richard Dawkins writes. Mr. Dawkins is an Evolutionary Biologist and a Philanthropist.
Are you in college classes now, or are you preparing for college? If the former, you should have plenty of reading in your classes that exposes you to good writing. In college, you will not be reading the sort of committee-written textbooks that you are unfortunately given in high school, so the level of writing is far more sophisticated. Take lit classes too. That will give you plenty of great stuff to read. Pay attention to the sound and the feel of the words as you read -- particularly when you're reading the lit. Take the time to enjoy it. If you care about writing, you must read with close attention. Let yourself get lost in it. Practice writing in different styles. Emulate what you read. If you are not yet in college, but are preparing for it, look online in the English departments of different universities for the list of books that all incoming freshman are recommended to have read. Check off which ones you've already read. Find time to read some of the others. Don't just look online for good reading: go for the books. That's still where all the best stuff is. You might also try asking some of your high school English teachers what they'd recommend you read.
On procrastination, you might check out this basic info -- http://www.psychologytoday.com/articles/200308/procrastination-ten-things-know http://writingcenter.unc.edu/resources/handouts-demos/writing-the-paper/procrastination On motivation, creativity, productivity, and so on, you might want to check out a book called _Your Creative Brain: Seven Steps to Maximize Imagination, Productivity, and Innovation in Your Life_, by Shelley Carson. I know, the title sounds hokey, but the author is a psychologist who studies creativity, and the book was recommended by Livia Blackburne, who is both a neuroscientist and a writer.
You will be writing a lot of academic papers and you will be reading a lot of academic papers and journal articles. Pay close attention to these because the papers that you write will be similar in structure and format. Getting over procrastination will depend a lot on your drive and will. I was a terrible procrastinator before starting college, but my drive to succeed and my will to change my time management habits, overrode my procrastination habit. I was on an accelerated schedule, so it was sink or swim for me. I had to get over procrastination very quickly because I only had a few weeks per class rather than a few months. But it's not too hard to get out of procrastinating if you really want to. Here's a few things that helped me: Learn good time management skills. This will help a lot. As soon as you get your syllabus READ THE WHOLE THING not just the next assignment. Plan ahead. Having your assignments planned out at the beginning of the class takes a bit of effort, but it keeps you from scrambling to put something together when the assignment is almost due. Break each assignment and paper into small tasks that you can easily accomplish each day. Example: Monday: Research Find relevant articles on the topic and record their locations Read as many of these articles as you can Tuesday: Research and note taking Reread your articles again and take notes also read any other articles you may not have gotten to Organize your notes into a somewhat sensible order Wednesday: Outline and freewrite Using your notes create an outline for your paper Freewrite a bit to get your ideas out on paper, but don't worry about structure, spelling, grammar, format, etc. JUST WRITE Thursday: Create rough draft and second draft Using notes and freewriting, create a rough draft of your paper. Only use what is important from your freewriting Proofread rough draft for content and flow. Don't worry about anything else Create second draft from your proofread and now marked up rough draft Friday: Create third and fourth draft Proof second draft for spelling and grammar and create third draft from your markups Proof third draft for style, structure, and formatting Create fourth draft from your markups Saturday: Create final draft Proof paper for anything you may have missed Have another person proof it for you If you have access to a plagiarism checker, run it through and properly cite or remove anything that comes back flagged PAPER IS NOW READY TO TURN IN MONDAY. ENJOY YOUR SATURDAY NIGHT AND SUNDAY OFF. I made myself a little schedule like this for almost all my papers to keep me on track, and to keep the tasks small and manageable. If you don't break up the assignment this way it is very easy to "lock up" and become overwhelmed because you don't know how or where to start, especially on the bigger papers.
Fiona, this is definitely a schedule to work toward as a goal! And that's an excellent answer -- I may have to keep a copy of that one.
This is such an excellent schedule, I have just referred another questioner to it. So many students need help with process and organization. It's a tough one.