Today in my Writing in Psychology class I went over five habits that novice writers should strive to develop. These are:
1. Make time for writing: With the emphasis on the "make." Finding time is hard. We're all busy folks. But making time involves getting to know your daily schedule and then carving out a piece to consistently use for writing or writing related chores (like thinking and planning).
2. Look up things you have a question about: Consistently, and immediately, look up new words that you come across in your reading. Look up the answers to when you should use "to" or "too," or "Lay or Lie." I suggested they start a "problem" file in their notebook or on computer that provides the answers to those questions they frequently struggle with.
3. Do multiple drafts of everything: I tell them, assume when you finish your first draft that it isn't good enough to hand in. Rewriting is the key for most writers to be able to produce publishable, or grade-worthy written work.
4. Use writing to challenge yourself: Take different approaches with different papers. Stretch your skills. Take risks. Treat writing as a muscle that needs exercising.
5. Read: I tell 'em that good readers are good writers, and that the more they read the better they'll write.