Most people must possess good writing skills because it’s essential to communicate well. Writing skills are valuable in everyday life and at the workplace. You don’t have to train as a professional, expecting to land a job as a content creator, journalist or an editor, to hone and use this essential skill.
As a student, writing research papers, reports and essays are requirements to complete as well as get good grades. Effective writing delivers your message the way you intended and wins your arguments.
But how do you put pen to paper or type words that will convey what you mean and persuade readers to your proposition?
Here are some ways to improve your writing skills.
Work on your spelling and grammar
Spelling and grammar mistakes make your writing much more difficult to understand. Punctuation serves a crucial purpose; getting it wrong may change the meaning of a sentence. Knowing how to use commas, colons, apostrophes and other marks give you different ways to structure a sentence.
It’s easy to find resources online to help you practice your grammar. Grammarly is one, which helps you fix your grammar mistakes, and if you take note of frequently highlighted words or phrases, you can stop making the same mistakes over and over.
Read essay examples
To be a good writer, you must read a lot — and a wide variety of written pieces. If you’re meant to write more about one specific type of writing and topics, read more of those pieces.
For example, if you expect to write plenty of essays on recycling, look up essays about this subject. You can find an appropriate recycling essay on the web.
Read multiple essays to get inspiration on what makes a good title and show you how to structure your essay. And learn what makes an effective essay so that you’re able to make your point.
You can also find a professional writer to write an essay for you that you can learn from to improve your writing and get good grades.
Read what you want to write
When you read examples of good writing, it can improve your own writing skills. When you read, try to understand what makes the writing clear and impactful.
- Read a variety of writing examples, such as book reviews, press releases, news articles, or blog posts. Notice the different structure, length, choice of words, and more.
- Read and analyze a book by an author whose style you admire. Take a closer look at the story structure, stylistic choices etc.
The more you read, the more likely you are to discover a genre you love. When this happens, reading will become a joy instead of something you feel you should do. A love of reading often creates a desire to express your ideas and opinions in writing.
Practice, practice and practice some more
The only way to develop good writing skills is to practice. This will require some discipline, but it will pay off.
- Start a journal where you record your thoughts on a daily basis. This gets you into the practice of writing regularly.
- Start an online blog. You may find that free writing in your journal is turning into pieces you would like to publish on a blog.
- Join a writing workshop. This gives you the opportunity to meet other writers and learn more about the writing process. You will usually have to practice different writing techniques and may have specific writing assignments to do between classes.
Know some common fixes
How do you know what common mistakes you make? Read what you’ve written. Be critical about your own work and mark errors that appear multiple times. Once you figure out what you overlook or can’t get right, plan the fixes.
Here are some ideas:
- Cut out all unnecessary words or sentences. Anything that’s redundant, repetitive, or obvious must go.
- Split up sentences that are too long and complex.
- Ensure that paragraphs flow logically.
- Replace clichés with original phrases.
- Only use technical jargon when necessary.
Never speed through the editing stage
The first drafts are meant to be revised. You need to give yourself time to come up with a final version.
- Try to set your work aside for a while before coming back to it so you can be more objective.
- Start with easy fixes, such as spelling or grammar mistakes and inconsistencies.
- Read your work out loud so you can pick up places where the writing doesn’t flow, or phrases are awkward.
- Ask for feedback from peers, as they will often spot errors you don’t see.
Develop Writing Skills
Learning to write well helps you to accurately communicate your ideas to others. Through familiarizing yourself with the basics, exposure, and practice, your writing will express exactly what you want to convey. It’s a continuous learning process, so you should keep practicing and getting new ideas. With time, you will be able to master it.