California State University

CSU English Success

CSU English Success
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Student Tips

As you prepare to enter the CSU, consider what you might do to improve your English reading, writing, and critical thinking skills. Listed below are four pieces of advice to help you get started on the right path.

  1. Take the appropriate English course.
    If your high school offers a reading and expository writing course, consider taking it. This type of class has the following characteristics:
    • focuses on improving reading strategies
    • focuses on how a writer puts together an explanation or an argument and
    • focuses on persuasive writing
  2. Be patient.
    • Becoming a good writer takes time--certainly more than one or two courses.
    • Continuously improving your writing skills is one of the best things you can do to be successful in college and in your career.
  3. Read often.
    • Good students develop good reading habits.
    • They read newspapers, periodicals, non-fiction, fiction, websites, etc.
    • Reading, writing, and reasoning are linked skills. If you read for pleasure and comprehend well, most likely you’ll be a good writer.
  4. Think critically.
    • Successful college students know how to read, write, and think critically.
    • Take some time and assess your strengths and weaknesses in these important areas.
    • Ask your high school teachers who know your work for guidance.