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6 Ways How to Improve Your Writing Skills Better

by Dec 30, 2016Assignments

Students don’t acknowledge the importance of writing till it’s time to write their college applications and exams. Regardless of the degree you’re applying for, writing a college essay or statement of purpose is necessary. Knowing how to write effectively, using the righttone, grammar and syntax are all important even when considering examinations and tests.

Are you considering pursuing literature or creative writing? Having a good command of your language of choice and how to write good sentences is crucial.

Improving your writing skills will take time. The first step towards making a difference is learning how to recognize your mistakes and then doing what is necessary to correct them.

6 Tips for Writing

  1. Read, Write, Read, Write
  • This is a method that should not be used for every kind of writing endeavor.
  • It is widely recommended when writing articles, blogs, college essays, term papers, etc. But it is best to stay away from this if you’re writing a story.
  • In the first situation, reviewing what you’re writing helps to stay on track.
  • It provides a smooth and consistent flow of thought, ensuring that each point connects.
  • Following this pattern of writing also saves a lot of time since corrections can be made in the moment rather than at the end of the process.
  • However, when writing a story, allow your thoughts to flow unhindered.
  • Once the creative process is over, then the technicalities can be looked into.
  • Remember, first drafts are never great. Do not feel disheartened or de-motivated.
  • Instead, make a few corrections and write the second draft.
  • Keep doing this till you have a draft that you’re satisfied with.
  1. Create Outlines Before Beginning
  • Outlines can be extremely useful, but most students tend to skip this and get straight into the essay itself.
  • Drawing an outline even helps when writing intricate stories.
  • An outline can be used as a mind map to trace all the areas of importance and connect sections.
  • Draw an outline even when writing simple essays. For example, Introduction – Body – Conclusion.
  • Divide the essay into further subgroups depending on the information that you would like to include in each point.
  • This way, there is always the option to go over the outline in case a step has been missed.
  1. Improve the Basics
  • If you don’t know where to begin, the basics are always a good start.
  • Consciously use the active voice instead of the passive voice.
  • The active voice follows the rule of SVO or Subject – Verb – Object.
  • Obviously, the use of passive voice isn’t prohibited. Sometimes there may not be a clear way to turn the phrase into an active one.
  • Use strong words.
  • Try to avoid bland words and expletives wherever possible.
  • This does not mean that you should use complicated or unnecessary terms.
  • Keep your vocabulary simple but ensure that each word serves a purpose. Utilize your vocabulary diligently.
  • Avoid clichés. Take a shot with originality. Clichés ruin texts by making them ‘everyday’ and ‘overdone’.
  • Attempt being more visual by creating a scene and trying to show the reader what is happening rather than just telling them what is happening.
  • Broad generalizations are a mark of extremely sloppy writing.
  • Focus on facts and specifics. Avoid grand and wide generalizations that add no substance to your work.
  • When making statements try to back it up with actual facts.
  • Don’t make assumptions or ‘think’ about something. The information provided in any piece of writing needs to be credible enough to hold up when someone in authority reads it.
  • Avoid overusing metaphors and similes. Try not to fill up essays or writing projects with complicated jargon.
  • If you’re unsure about a metaphor, there could be a possibility of mixing it up and losing many marks.
  • While keeping all of this in mind, don’t be afraid to break a few rules. The best writers have done so.
  • Plus, we live in an age that is constantly changing with new ideas and methods on the horizon, there are very few boundaries holding back creativity.
  1. Read Regularly
  • The only way to learn more about writing, language, grammar, etc., is not by reading how to blogs or learning up a list of rules, but by reading.
  • Do not limit yourself to particular authors, genres, or styles.
  • Read as much as possible and as often as possible.
  • These days reading has been made simple with eBooks, Smartphones and eBook readers.
  • There is no shortage of the availability of non-fiction and fiction novels.
  • Even literature has expanded its avenues welcoming in diverse authors, introducing new genres and making books more accessible to those who have to struggle to read.
  • Reading isn’t limited to literature. Now there are some extremely modern fan fictions, blogs, articles, news reports, etc., that are fun and quick to read when you’re short on time.
  • If there is a particular author that you enjoy, explore more of his work and genre.
  • Not all books will be good or interesting, but they will all have something to teach you about yourself in terms of writing and ideas.
  • While reading for fun try to map out different patterns that are noticeable, analyze the text from a critical point of view.
  • Pay attention to new words and meanings and consciously inculcate them into your vocabulary.
  • There are many books that are highly acclaimed, but it is hard to understand why because of the complicated storyline or style of writing.
  • In this case, use Google. Type in a question and find out more about what you’re reading. It definitely adds to the reading experience.
  1. Write for Practice
  • Invest in a notebook or journal that you can carry around with you everywhere.
  • The power of simply taking notes is unbelievable.
  • If an idea comes to you in the middle of a walk or run or even on a night out – there is always somewhere you can jot it down and think about it later.
  • Some of our best ideas escape us, so ensure that you store all the ideas – both good and bad – for later development and reviewing.
  • We live in anage of technology, so if you’re more comfortable with making notes on your phone feel free to do so.
  • Do not allow yourself to be held back by the judgment of others.
  • Even on days that there is a lack of inspiration; push yourself to at least write a list of tasks you’ve done all day to develop the habit of writing.
  1. Revision and Reliable Feedback
  • First, complete everything that has been started. Only then should the editing and revision process begin.
  • Change anything that you don’t like. Pick out parts and be critical with your writing.
  • If you’re unsure about a particular essay or story, ask a friend or mentor to go over it and give you their feedback.
  • Learn how to accept criticism and use it to better your work.
  • Start up a blog and post regularly. Once you build up enough followers, the constructive criticism will start moving in rather smoothly.
  • It isn’t necessary to accept any and all feedback. Use your discretion wisely and get more than a single opinion before beginning the editing process.

By applying these few simple tips to your writing schedule, improvement is inevitable. The internet is the most resourceful place for information.

Read about other people and their writing techniques, trials, shortcomings and advice. Find a group of writers with similar aims; join a community that encourages growth and refinement of these skills. Bridge the gap between what you know and the world of information out there.