Let's improve English writing skills

 Are you ready to be a better writer? If you say 'Yes' to that question, you have something to share with the word.

  Then what's stopping you? you know English, you've learned English for ages. So what seems to be the problem? Some might say "I'm not sure about my grammar" or "I don't have a good vocabulary to express my ideas". If that is your case, I bet you don't read books. I tell you what, the more that you read, the more grammar and vocabulary you will learn; the more that you learn grammar and vocabulary, the more you will write. The bottom line is, It is impossible to become a good writer without reading. It is advisable to read as much as you can, otherwise you won't be able to know how to write. I must mention this, most people receive advices from others, but only who listen will get benefits from them.

 There are several writing styles Personal, Proprietary and Academic. We are focusing on personal writing styles, but for the record I'll tell you what are these writing styles. Proprietary style is a writing style which is used by large publications to define their unique style of writing; as an example, we can take world recognized magazines and newspapers. When it comes to Academic styles, it is about following an approved writing style for dissertations or academic research papers. I used to write in an Academic style when I was an undergraduate of UCD. I remember my final dissertation. It had to be 100% inline with the given guidelines, supposed to deliver it by the deadline, even I had an appointed research supervisor; that was a nightmare!

 You don't have to worry about any of those styles, they can wait. Just think about the knowledge level of the potential readers for whom you are writing and stay focused with the flow. When I was a kid my father had a Suzuki motorbike and one day he taught me how to ride it. It was easy for me, because by then I've already learned how to ride bicycles, so I was riding fast with my father. Then he told me "Slow down son, learning to drive is not about how fast you can ride a bike, you can easily achieve the speed by accelerating in a higher gear; this is about how to balance a bike, how to change gears, how to balance the clutch, how to slow it down where it's necessary, how to turn, how to dodge pits and objects on the read, how to follow the rules and be safe." I've learned a big lesson on that day. That's a personal thing, but I thought I should share that memory with you, that might help you in the long run.

  If your readers expect you to write in a formal(formal writing is better than informal writing) way, then you shouldn't use contractions ('s, 'm, 've, 'll, 't etc.), popular phrases(at the end of the day=>use:finally, in a nutshell=>use:in summary, etc.), everyday words(maybe, really, okay, very, a lot, so etc. those words make sentences weaker) you can find this style in academic or research papers, educational books, manuals, etc. If your readers expect you to write in an informal way, then you can consider writing it in a conversational tone; by writing words in contraction form will help you accomplish that. You can find this style in story books and novels, dialogue transcripts, personal emails and letters; but in either case, please use active voice than passive voice. I'm writing this article in an informal manner, it's like I'm speaking with you.

  I can tell you one thing for sure, writing requires time and commitment. You just can't become a skilled writer in a day or two, it requires practice in writing. How to practice writing? There are few things that you can easily do to improve your writing skills.

 Read what you love to read, search online for famous authors and best selling books. Search by your favorite genre and don't try to read books with 1000s of pages that will probably make you bored. If you can read graded readers of your English level, it'll be effective in consolidating your English grammar and vocabulary.

 Read blog posts and try to write comments. By reading a blog post, you will learn something; by writing a comment, you'll be able to consolidate what you've learned and it will encourage the author to publish more blog posts as well. You will find good articles and bad articles; when you find a good article, ask yourself "Why this article is good?"; when you find a bad article, ask yourself "What makes this article bad?", That is a good way to improve the quality of your writing.

 Before writing something new, it is important to know what are you going to write about as well as having a structure; Having a structure in the sense, knowing the flow of the article. How to start it, what to include, in which order you're going to present your ideas and how to end it. It helps to express your ideas clearly and strengthen your points, thus reader will easily comprehend what you are writing.

  Read a paragraph of an article and try to write it's gist, just to improve your summarizing ability. Write short sentences than long sentences. eg. removing 'there are/is' from sentences.

 There is the best teacher over there, let's ask from her.

 Let's ask from the best teacher over there.

 There are 100s of planes at the airport at the moment.

 At the moment airport has 100s of planes.

 Try to write something everyday. It may be a single sentence, but you will have to write it with a purpose; my purpose is improving my writing skills while giving hand to others, who's looking forward to be better. Practice writing short notes of basic grammar and vocabulary, and make sure to read your old articles again and again; that will encourage you to write more articles, and you will see your mistakes which you didn't know you were making. I'll assure you, those mistakes will make you a better writer in the future, so thank your mistakes.

 Don't think too much, write what your mind says; make it simple, personal and interesting. That doesn't mean you should violate grammar rules; you should be cautious about grammar rules and punctuation marks. Let me tell you one good way to improve them. Learn one grammar rule or punctuation mark, focus on what you've learned and try to use it in an article; don't worry about unknown grammar rules, just focus on what you know; don't worry about readers and what would they say, we can't be sure of what would they say or do; but you know what you're doing, and that's what's important. I tell you what, in this article I'm focusing on, using the semicolon (;), in fact this is the first time I'm using the semicolon in my life(in English writing), Have you ever seen someone in EnglishClub using semicolon before? I didn't notice anyone like that. But I've seen one of my teachers using it at British Council and I wanted to know how to deal with it. Even though I've seen semicolon in some books, I've just learned it (about semicolon) and I'm now using it to consolidate. I might have misplaced semicolon, but I believe it's not that bad for a first draft. By my 100th article, I might able to write an article on "how to place semicolon".

  If you start nothing, there will be nothing; if you start something, there will be something. Try to be close and courteous to those who support and advise you; you might be able to learn something from them. Practice writing on daily basis, just pick a topic and start writing; it's not necessary to publish everything you write, so don't be afraid to write. At the end of an article, give it a good conclusion(more in to formal writing) and last but not least, make sure to proof read. If you make a habit of reading for pleasure, I'm pretty sure you will definitely be a better writer soon. Above all, you will enjoy your writing. Thank you very much!

Enjoy your reward!

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Comments

  • It was worth reading.Thank you friend.
  • I like when you write simple and understadable like in this article. Because my english not good. And this artikle I read fast. Its a interesting text. 

  • Oh lord! what a great why of saying things, simple and beautiful. well i agree with most of ur points but the only hurdle with my writing is the way of my thinking. i feel that people make fun of my writing whatever I am writing is good enough to understand, whether my grammer is not strong enough to make any sense. And the other thing which pull me back is my confidence. Sometime i wonder what makes others keep motivate towards their achivement, its been 3 month since i join this club but deep down in my mind i have thought of practice writing but then again there is always some excuses of thinking may be tomorrow definitely from tomorrow onward i will be more focus. so the bottom line is iam still in the same situation. just a beginner. 

    Seeking for help from all of you. 

  • it is helpful to improve writing skill.

  • I agree with you my friend, if you want to become a good writer you need to practice. I may not be a good writer's too but i know and I believe in saying "everyone has a room for improvement" thanks for your meaningful blog and post.

  • "Why this blog is good?"

    I knew the reason 

    you are a good writer

    thank you and well-done 

    2389189796?profile=original

  • I am new to English Club.  But I can definitely say that at last I ended up with an useful site.  I have in my mind to improve my English for a long and this article will definitely help me in improving my English writing skills

  • I can't be a good writer because I still lack the confidence and the time.  This is another useful blog, Kosala.  Thank you for sharing it with us!

  • Thank you for the meaningful and useful blog. I was impressed with the last blog about speaking skill and now it's writing skill, both are my worst ones and many English other learners. By the way, could you please put some more subtitles for the main paragraphs, it would be easier for us to catch up with your ideas in such long articles. 

  • What a wonderful article!! as usual :)
    ... Thank you Kosala
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