9 SIMPLE WAYS TO IMPROVE YOUR WRITTEN SKILLS
9 SIMPLE WAYS TO IMPROVE YOUR WRITTEN SKILLS
Becoming a better writer takes practice, and you’re already practicing. No, seriously you write a lot. Even if you don’t think of yourself as a writer, you put thoughts into text more often than you realize. At the very least, you write emails a lot of emails post on social media, make updates to your resume and Linkedin profile, and message your friends. If your job requires it, you also create things like reports, presentations, newsletters … it’s a long list.
Expand your vocabulary
To express yourself clearly, you need a good active vocabulary. That’s not just being able to recognize lots of words it means actually being able to use them correctly. Do this by learning new words with example sentences, not just word lists.
Master English spelling
You must know how to spell those words correctly. Incorrect spelling changes the meaning of your sentence. For example: bare and bear sound the same but bare means naked and bear is a large animal. Additionally, incorrect spelling makes it difficult for the reader to understand what you’ve written. Practice your spelling using flashcards and test yourself whenever you have some spare time.
People often say that we learn to write best by reading. Reading in English is useful in many ways. It is a great way to get an idea of the different styles of writing and see how to use words appropriately. Choose books or articles with topics that interest you. Learning shouldn’t be boring. Read each text several times to make sure you understand how to use new words and expressions in the text.
Improve your grammar
Grammar is very important because it improves the quality of your writing. Always use the appropriate tense and remember to use punctuation. Punctuation is a great way to make your writing clear and fluent. Always proof-read your writing twice. The first time, look for general mistakes and the second time look for mistakes with the particular grammar point you are studying at the moment.
Create an Outline
One of the best ways to improve your writing skill is to create an outline of everything you write.
This is especially true if you land a freelance writing job.
Clients want a coherent and complete post, so having an outline can help make sure you include everything your client wants.
For me, I think about what I want to write about and create subtopics and then other ideas I want to write about. For more help, you can see how other freelance writers and bloggers develop their writing process.
Convey Your Message Easily
Clients want smart writing that’s engaging and will capture their message perfectly.
As a writing tip, you need to learn how to convey that message from your client easily in your writing. This means not being too wordy when describing things.
Now, don’t get me wrong I’ve been known to be a tad wordy at times in my writing, but I think I make up for it with my ease of writing.
That’s why it’s important to have that first draft. Write and then let it sit.
You have to take the time to transform that first draft into the article you’ll submit to your client. This may mean cutting entire paragraphs or changing ideas around.
READ A LOT!
Read, read, read and did I mention? Read!
I cannot stress this enough, as this will be one of the most vital tools for you become familiar with the way English is written, and also to help you spot the mistakes you are making at the moment; and if you copy passages, it can also be a way for you to rectify those errors.
Reading graded readers is a good place to start, as the words used aren’t overly complicated, and the stories are generally fun enough to keep you interested.
SEARCH FOR NEW SENTENCES TO LEARN AND PRACTICE
I can’t emphasize enough how important taking your time is. If you rush too much, the hard work you put in won’t be retained, and all your effort will go to waste.
Make sure you copy things and write things at your own pace, trying your hardest to get things correct; the speed and fluidity will come later. Find useful new sentences to learn regularly to help improve your vocabulary and allow for you to be a better writer in general.
You can do this by starting to type a phrase into google for example. It will provide suggestions using the start of a phrase, all of which will be searched often, so you can near-enough guarantee the accuracy of your writing.
Above all, just be kind to yourself and don’t be too hard on yourself if it doesn’t come straight away, fluency is a learned thing and you are already taking the right steps!
FIND EXAMPLES OF TEXT AND COPY THEM
In the age of the internet, this is a very easy thing to find and essential for getting used to the style you like.
If you are looking for conversational English, search for something like ‘Conversational English text’.