Good English writing skills will help you in business, in college and in society. Don't worry if you have always had trouble with writing or if English is not your native language. With proper practice and training, you can improve your writing and become more successful.
- Skill level:
Things you need
- English dictionary
- Spelling textbook
- English handbook
- Notebook or journal
Learn to spell and punctuate correctly. Use a good dictionary; don't rely on your computer spellchecker. Consult a good English handbook to learn the rules of correct punctuation and capitalisation. Others judge your writing by your spelling and mechanics. If your spelling is poor, study the rules with a vocabulary or spelling book. See the Resources section. Consult an English handbook to learn the rules of correct punctuation and capitalisation.
Learn correct grammar and sentence structure. For example, make sure every sentence you write has a subject and a verb. If you have gaps in your knowledge, take a writing or grammar class, consult an English handbook or do exercises at the Purdue Online Writing Lab (OWL). See the link in the References section.
Practice the various genres or types of writing. Learn narration, description, exposition and argument. For business writing, study letter and report writing. Practice on your own using the OWL at Purdue or take a class.
Learn to write strong paragraphs. Practice writing a topic sentence or main idea statement for each paragraph. Then give specific details and write a conclusion. A strong paragraph usually has three or more details.
Learn to write clear five-paragraph essays. The standard form includes an introductory paragraph with a thesis (main idea), three supporting paragraphs and a concluding paragraph. The strongest place for the thesis of the essay is the end of paragraph one. Each of the three supporting paragraphs should expand on some part of the thesis. Make sure you use transitions to connect to each successive paragraph. Then write a conclusion that restates the thesis or summarises it in some way. Learn more tips from the OWL at Purdue or in a writing class.
Read quality written English every day. Read fiction or nonfiction books, magazines or newspapers. If you read good English, you will absorb good English. Timothy Bell concludes that extensive reading improves writing skills.
Practice fluency in writing by writing in English every day. Buy a notebook or journal and write for 20 minutes or more every day. Writing will become much easier in only a few weeks time.
Get feedback on your writing so you improve faster. If you are not taking a class, ask someone who writes well to read and correct some of your work. If you practice writing regularly, you can greatly improve your written English.
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