8 Simple Ways to Improve Your Written English

How to improve English writing skills

Why it matters to improve English writing skills?
Writing is a tool we can all take advantage of to educate, inform and share information with the rest of the world. Not everyone is able to tap into these three essentials unless they have strong writing skills.

You may not be a good writer but don’t let it bring you down. What matters most is having a passion for writing and to improve yourself. ”Where there is a will there is a way.’

There is still room for progress by improving your vocabulary. Good vocabulary is not something that comes easy especially for writers who speak English as a second language. The reason why I’ve written this article, ways to improve your written English, to give some writing advice.

Read a lot to expand your vocabulary 

Did you know that avid readers do manage to kill two birds with one stone? Firstly, if you are a bookworm you stand a better chance of making serious progress and on top of improving your English vocabulary, you reap extra benefits. Reading widely will not only expose you to a lot of information but it is a reliable source of entertainment and education.

The funny side to reading a lot of books is you don’t  see immediate results. Later on you begin to notice the improvements tricking into your craft of writing including speaking.

For you to reap more benefits, make sure the materials you read are written in English. Reading good books in English will help those with poor grasp of English to improve. Through constant reading, you end up knowing the correct way of writing a proper English sentence. As you read, the time you come across words you don’t understand, look up for their meaning in the dictionary. 

What exactly happens when you read widely? Reading widely informs and teaches you how to write in certain ways because reading by nature exposes you to different forms of writing styles, different voices, plots and thought processes.

A good vocabulary is critical to learning a second language. 

With a good vocabulary, learning a second language becomes second to nature to you. Limited vocabulary does the opposite effect and stops you from communicating effectively. When you have a concept or something you want to put across in writing, you will struggle to do so. So, you must have a store of words, where you can easily draw from to express your meaning or concept.

How can I build a sound knowledge base of words?

Use different learning techniques like reading, speaking and listening. A combination of these three will definitely boost your vocabulary. The more you read, the more you listen and the more you practice speaking in English leads to more vocabulary in you. And more career prospects and development of your communication skills. 

Find some reading materials within an area of your interest. Be it a thriller novel or a magazine that you really enjoy reading. Reading widely definitely pays off. Subconsciously you learn new words and how to use those words in sentences. This enhances your overall writing capacity. The more books you read in English, and the more speaking and listening you do in the same language, the better are the results.

Reading is a source of inspiration 

Apart from improving your vocabulary, reading is a source of inspiration. As a writer, sometimes you get struck by the writers’ block. It is a stage in your life where you suddenly feel you have hit a plateau and you can’t write anymore. A stage where nothing inspires you anymore. Writers do experience the ‘writer’s block from time to time and feel they are not in the mood to write anything. The best remedy is to pick up a book and read it. A book will stir up your creative juices to start writing.

The moment you pick a book and start to read, an opportunity is availed to you to see how other writers have dealt with the same problem. This will inspire you to do the same to boost your creativity. Especially, the power of written stories which is capable of transporting you to a completely different world.

You will be inspired to break the barriers and explore endless possibilities. Once your mind has been stirred up, you have greater creativity and less rigid thinking.

Master English spellings

To become a successful writer, get a free grammar checker for correcting mistakes. With a free grammar check, you are able to pick all your English grammar mistakes. This will give you the confidence of knowing your work is correct. Incorrect spellings will mar your written work and make it difficult for the reader to understand your message behind

You must brush up your basic principles of writing, grammar and spellings. Grammar is very important. It leads to improved quality of writing. If you feel not so confident after using the grammar tool, there is an alternative method. Try outsourcing proofreading help.

Online English courses

You can take your English to the next level by enrolling for online English courses. Read more about online courses.

Peer Reviews

Try asking your mates to have a look at your written piece of work and ask for their feedback. Its also an effective way to improve your writing ability. Peer review is the process where an author subjects their written work to the scrutiny of other writers who are experts. Most writers perform better after getting feedback from peers.

According to a recent study conducted by Kristi Lundstrom. K. and Baker, W (2009), over a period of time, people who focused solely on reviewing peers’ writing made more significant gains in their own writing than their receivers did, who focused solely on how to use peer feedback. “To give is better than to receive: The benefits of peer review to the reviewer’s own writing.”

The study shows that the gains of peer reviews are experienced by both sides. The person who gets his written work reviewed benefits as well as the one who does the review.

Reading the Book, “Oxford Companion to the English language” (2018).  

I do not hesitate to recommend this book, Oxford Companion to the English language (2018) written by Tom McArthur and Jacqueline Lam-McArthur. Its an authoritative source of information on English language. The author’s intention is the book be used as a reference and for browsing. This book’s major strength is it has adopted a strong international perspective.

This new edition notably focuses on World Englishes, English language teaching, English as an international language, and the effect of technological advances on the English language… It is an invaluable reference for English Language students, and fascinating reading for any general reader with an interest in language.

Oxford Dictionary Online

Oxford Dictionary Online

The Oxford Dictionary Online is a really useful and an excellent tool for learning. And for improving written English. It has 3 major functions I will share with you.

  • The Oxford dictionary gives you a definition of a
    particular word in English.
  • The dictionary gives you example sentences.
  • Pronounces English words for you.

Reading Guides

English skills guide, 100 Ways to Improve Your Writing, by Gary Provost, Penguin, 1985. This book is full of proven professional techniques for writing in style and power.

Journal of Second Language Writing Volume 18, Issue 1, March 2009, Pages 30-43

  • Detailed explanations and expert’s advice on every aspect of writing – from inspiration to punctuation.
  • Actual examples of DO” S and DONT’S to give you a clear picture.
  • Designed for both instant reference and cover to cover reading.

To conclude, I strongly believe the best way to improve your writing is to read and write a lot. When you read more you develop an eye for what effective writing is all about.

Writing is important because it’s a way of communicating your messages across. Unlike speech where you can get away with a phrase here and there, when it comes to writing down your ideas for others to read, you must explain yourself clearly. You can’t do it unless you know how to.

Do all it takes to improve your written English. Join a workshop, meetup or take a writing class.

References:

  • Oxford companion to the English language, Tom
    McArthur, Jacqueline Lam-McArthur, Lise
    Fontaine, Oxford University Press, 14 May 2018 –
    Reference – 768 pages. 
  • (100 Ways to Improve Your Writing (English Skills Guide), Gary Provost, Penguin, 1985.

If you have any questions in relation to my English writing tips, 8 Simple ways to improve your written English, please leave them below. I will try my best to respond as soon as I can.

10 Comments to “8 Simple Ways to Improve Your Written English”

  1. stefan says:

    Great, I know that my English could be better. Especially the vocabulary is limited due to grown up as a German speaking person.

    I had the advantage to go to school in London for a year when I was about 14 years old but that was an international school and we didn’t learn too much.

    I agree, reading a lot can help. I read your article here and must say it is written a lot better than most of what I read, especially in the choice of words.

    I now write my articles in German first and then let Google translate them. After that I have to go over them because Google is not the best translator either. Still this technique allows me to learn some new words every day.

    1. Femia says:

      Hello, Stefan, thank you for your time to read this post ‘8 Simple Ways to Improve Your Written English’and leave some words of wisdom.
      I don’t find anything wrong with your English. It’s perfect. You explain things in a simple and straight forward way. I’m 100% convinced that’s what matters – to be able to convey your message across.
      Thanks for sharing information regarding Google translation. It’s such a brilliant idea that helps to come up with original articles. I will try it and see how it goes.

  2. Paul says:

    Dear Femia,

    Thanks for the Great inspiring post! This has to be motivating, not only for me but also for many others whose second language is English. 

    Being a full-time blogger and not from a native English speaking country, your post means a lot to me and very helpful. I got great insights from your post.

    When I introduce blogging to many of my friends they always say I am not good at English and I can’t write content etc., I am going to share your post with my friends.

    Wow! Your post is a great guide to improve English writing skills and one read is not enough for your post.

    Wishing you great success!

    Paul

    1. Femia says:

      Hello, Paul thanks so much for sparing your time to read my post, ‘8 Simple Ways to Improve Your Written English.’Also, for leaving some really encouraging words.
      I am glad that you found this post helpful. I too speak English as a second language. 
      It has not been easy but worth it. What has worked for me is learning through reading a lot of English books.
      Once again many thanks.

  3. Jay says:

    Been able to properly communicate with your audience through writing is a skill anyone that creates contents ought to have. It is more difficult if you are communicating to a language that you are not used to. English is the most spoken language and it is imperative that most of us know how to properly communicate with English.

    It has always being said that reading books can be a good way to improve ones vocabulary and it is absolutely true. I think that is one of the reasons my writings on my website is not perfect because I really did not read that much books while growing up and now that I am all grown up, finding the time to read can be challenging.

    The  8 simple ways to improve writing is something I would most definitely check back on a regular basis. Thanks for sharing.

    1. Femia says:

      Hi, Jay, thank you for your time to read my post, ‘8 Simple Ways to Improve Your Written English’ and leaving invaluable comments. I appreciate.
      What makes it imperative to speak and write good English is that it is an international language.
      I read somewhere that when you start to learn a language a bit late in life, certain things like
      accent will not change.

  4. jessie palaypay says:

    I appreciate all many different methods you have suggested in order for me to improve my writing. I am usually a decent writer but not the best writing author, so to speak.
    I was good enough to pass my college English courses.

    One of the things I am curious to know about is if one can also use a Thesaurus, as a way to improve their writing?
    You mentioned as a suggestion to use a dictionary and I wonder if using a thesaurus is equally as helpful.

    1. Femia says:

      Hi, Jessie, thanks so much for taking the time to read my post, ‘8 Simple Ways to Improve Your Written English.’I appreciate.
      I am glad to hear that you found my post informative.
      You have raised a very important point in relation to building vocabulary. A thesaurus does the work better since its a reference which groups words together due to the similarity of meaning. 
      I will add it as well since it plays a role in contrast to a dictionary.
      Once gain many thanks for stopping by.

  5. mark kabakov says:

    Hi Femiya! I reread your story three times. I was interested in your maternal reaction. 

    It is always a pity to wake the child to kindergarten or school. You psychologically accurately depicted the scene of the awakening of the baby. Mom behaved with care and dignity. 

    Your story is close to my feelings and concerns. My daughter in London raises her six year old son. I already know his passion for buses and ships, for big transport monsters. I already know his passion for buses and ships, for big transport monsters. This means that soon he will force his parents to visit the HMS Belfast and the London Transport Museum.

    Your website has been a reward for me. I will recommend it. Thank you for your work. 

    I understand and appreciate. Mark

    1. Femia says:

      Hello, Mark, thank you very much for taking your time to read my post, ‘8 Simple Ways to Improve Your Written English.’
      I am very pleased to hear that you enjoyed reading my writing advice. Its lovely to know that you relate with what I shared.
      You must be very close with your grandson, that’s so sweet!
      You are welcome, Mark and many thanks!.

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