Creative Writing and College Writing

Creative writing is unappreciated by many students in college. This is mainly because of the notion that every college paper must be formal and professional, but it also has to do with the lack of exposure of the students to this type of writing. Although this is indeed a true fact, creative writing can influence and enhance formal writing in many ways.

Here are 6 ways in which creative writing can help you with college writing.

1. Creative writing helps you understand other people’s writing. When you read other people’s creative writing, you are in fact exposing yourself to someone else’s ideas. The only difference between creative writing and professional writing is that in professional writing, the author gives you the facts as they are, whereas a creative writing author would conceal the meaning of his or her writing in metaphors, similes, and such. Thus, if you are quite good at understanding the message behind creative writing, you will definitely understand what an author tries to convey in his or her formal writing.

2. Creative writing helps you expand your vocabulary. Whenever you read creative writing, you always stumble across a word you don’t know the meaning of. These occasional obstacles allow you to enrich your vocabulary. It also helps you understand the relevance and strength of a word over another. This, in the end, gives you more credibility as a writer.

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3. Creative writing helps you with organization. Believe or not, creative writing can be a powerful tool when it comes to organization in college writing. This is because in creative writing, as well as in college writing, there is an internal structure that supports the writing. It is true that when you write creatively you have more flexibility in the structure, but this flexibility allows you to experiment with different ways in which content can be organized. Writers who compose creative writing tend to have a better sense of organization of content due to their experience with manipulating content in creative prose and poetry. By writing creatively, they learn the do’s and don’ts of organization.

4. Creative writing allows you to find your style. This is very important for any writer since the style with which you write is what makes you different from other writers. Reading or writing creative writing helps you find what style is more comfortable for you. Perhaps you find yourself liking short sentences over long sentences, or perhaps you prefer using descriptive adjectives or adverbs to embellish your writing. Whatever the case is, this is what makes your writing different from the rest, and professors value diversity.

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5. Creative writing allows you to write interestingly. This can come in handy when you have an assignment that, by nature, is boring. Creative writing provides you with the tools to make a dull piece of writing into something pleasant to read. Some of the tools that creative writing gives you are the use of literary techniques, such as metaphors and similes, which can help you make the topic of your writing more interesting to read.

6. Creative writing allows you to view and understand a topic from different points of view. One of the main characteristics of creative writing is its ability to explore issues from different points of view. This can be helpful in assignments where you must explore both sides of an issue, since creative writing provides you with the tools to present an idea or topic from different perspectives.

If you are inexperienced with creative writing but would love to get acquainted with it, you should join Contrast Literary Magazine–the literary magazine at McDaniel–and their writing workshops offered throughout the fall semester. To get in contact with Contrast, you can email at

And come see me with your creative writing. I love to read it all!

Jimmy, peer tutor