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.
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
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.
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.
- 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.