Ten Tips to Improve Your English Writing Skills
by Jessica Millis, a freelance writer.
Everyone wants to write well, even flawlessly, but achieving this takes a lot more than just wishful thinking. If you really want to write well and express yourself perfectly, then follow these tips to guarantee an improvement to your writing skills.
1) Practice makes perfect
Just like with any other skill, the more you practice (practise - British English) the better you become. Get into the habit of writing on a daily basis if you really want to be good at it. The best part about a daily writing routine is that it will eventually become a habit and therefore increase your chances of bettering your skills. The habit creates the mentality that the practice is a natural process which allows you to better your skills.
2) Keep a record of your writing
Use a notebook or better yet work with Google Drive, or Evernote, if you are more inclined to the digital world. Use these platforms to save all your work so that you can judge your writing and improve on areas that need improvement. Having all your write-ups in one place allows you to keep faith and remain focused on your goal. Also keep notes of interesting words, phrases, ideas, etc.
3) Brush up on the basics
You cannot claim to be a good writer if you fail to understand the basic principles of writing. You do not even have to enrol (enroll AmE) into a class to master this there are so many free websites and You Tube videos to help you with your areas of weakness. Just try as much as possible to understand the basics of spelling, grammar and punctuation so that you are able to express yourself and make your meaning clear so the reader can understand you.
4) Consider it your job
The seriousness you approach writing will determine your success rate. If you really want to improve your writing skills do not look at it as a hobby instead, approach it with the seriousness you'd approach a real job.
5) Make the most of free online resources
You should use online dictionaries – Oxford Dictionary, Cambridge, Macmillan and Merriam Webster. You can use resources such as Grammarly to help you correct sentences or phrases that are not grammatically correct. Grammar is always a challenge even for native speakers. With that said, it is possible to get better at this with the help of online tools and resources. Do not allow yourself to submit writing, an assignment or any other classroom task that is ungrammatical, and full of spelling mistakes. As a writer, submitting a piece that it is full of errors seriously lowers your credibility, which is always challenging to any writer in the business.
6) Think outside the box
The ability to think creatively is essential and makes awesome writers. If you’re going to write about ordinary topics, think about different approaches and what hasn’t been said about the subject before. Are you going to write about them from a personal angle or a broader perspective? Fact based or personal based, or a combination of both? It’s all do with the market /the course / the assignment you’re writing for.
It’s essential you proofread your work, everything, even little emails. Read your writing slowly back to yourself, and check for spelling, grammar, punctuation and typos. This is good for little words you’ve missed (to, it, a, an, etc.), and checking that sentences make sense.
9) Get a friend to edit you work
It is one thing to write something but another thing to edit your work. As a writer, it’s crucial to get someone to edit your writing and give you honest feedback. The editor will, hopefully, identify some mistakes that you might have missed when proofreading.
7) Develop a reading habit
Developing a reading habit will help you to build your vocabulary and enhance your creative mind, which is all essential when it comes improving an individual's English writing skills. Take notes of interesting words, phrases, ideas and thoughts.
8) Seek help from the professionals
We all can do with a little help from the professionals, so use fiver.com and peopleperhour.com for cheapish editing and proofreading of your work.
Author Bio: Jessica Millis, a freelance writer and editor at EssayMama essay writing and consulting agency and writing professor's assistant at James Madison University. Harrisonburg, Virginia, USA