Techniques to Boost Your Writing Skills
If you are looking for the right English writing technique to boost your writing skills, you will find that there are several methods and resources available. Below are a few easy-to-follow tips that aim to help you become a better and more confident writer.
Read, read, read
They say, the more you read, the more you know. Reading is one of the best ways to improve your writing skills. Every English writing technique can be found in many published reading materials.
If you are into creative writing, reading novels, poems, short stories, and fiction will help you pick up a couple of techniques that successful writers use. If you are into technical writing, you might find journals, instructional and educational materials more helpful.
On top of reading for the sake of exposing yourself to different English writing techniques, you can also avail of free resources that are available to aspiring writers. These resources include tips, techniques, and advice on how to write better.
Alternately, you can avail of online courses that specialize in developing your English writing skills. Here are s few choice selections from Skill Success:
Make an outline
Sometimes, if you have a particularly long or complicated piece of writing, you might get lost in your train of thought. This will often result in a scrambled piece of writing that makes little sense or is too confusing for readers to understand.
You may have all the facts and information needed, but if you assemble it poorly, your efforts will have gone to waste. To make sure that this does not happen, try to create a writing outline. An outline will serve as a guide for writing down your thoughts on a lengthy topic.
You should make your outline at the beginning or during your conceptualizing stage. Try to divide your main ideas into subtopics that you can discuss in bite-sized pieces and arrange them so that the thought is fluid and logical.
Trim down on the fillers
Fillers are not that bad. However, if they take up too much space in your writeup, it will look cluttered. Not only that, excessive use of filters may make your piece harder to read.
Using fillers judiciously will add life and vibrancy to your write up. Just don’t overdo it.
Avoid using “very”
There are many more powerful ways to say “very beautiful”. You can say “breathtaking”, “captivating”, “alluring,” and so much more. The same concept applies to other words that require a bit of oomph.
“Very” is not the only culprit in weak-word padding, although it is the most commonly-abused. “Incredibly”, “extremely”, and “really” are also just as guilty.
While there may be instances where you have no other choice but to use these words to give another word a boost, try not to rely too much on them. They tend to make a writeup look amateurish or tacky.
Using contractions is essential in any English writing technique. It makes your writeup more natural. Take a look at the examples below:
Example 1: “I am happy that you are here. There is so much that I want to tell you. We have been apart for such a long time, and I cannot remember the last time we have spoken.”
Example 2: “I’m happy that you’re here. There’s so much that I want to tell you. We’ve been apart for such a long time, and I can’t remember the last time we’ve spoken.”
As you can see, the first example seems too formal and almost robotic. A native English speaker won’t talk that way. If you want your writeup to appear more casual and conversational, make use of contractions.
Nevertheless, you don’t have to contract everything the way that the second example did if you want to retain a bit of formality in your writing.
Read it aloud
Reading things in your head can sound entirely different from when you read it aloud. You may not notice a line or a paragraph sounds odd or off until you hear it read aloud. That is why one English writing technique is to read your finished work aloud.
Reading aloud also lets you spot-check any grammatical errors you may have made. It might even help you spot errors with spelling or punctuation as you scan through the piece.
Have someone read your work
If you don’t feel comfortable or convinced with reading your piece aloud yourself, why not get someone else’s take on it? Find a willing friend or family member to read your work and tell you what they think about it.
Before you do this, make sure that you are open and ready to receive any type of feedback. Accept that they may or may not like it. They may also have a different interpretation of what you intended to bring across with your writeup.
However, it is still important to receive their feedback no matter if it’s positive or negative. Remember that the main essence of writing is to communicate information, tell a story, or stir emotions. How your friend or family member reacts to your writeup is a brief look at how other readers may look at and react to it.
Practice, and then practice some more!
As with many other skills, writing can only improve with constant practice. The more you write, the more mistakes you are likely to make. However, this also means that you have more chances of correcting them and doing better the next time.