15 Easy Steps to Improve Your Writing Skills
August 27, 2017| Category: Writing Tips
Writing is not a difficult task for those who know how to gain and improve their writing skills. In this article, we’ve gathered the most useful tips on how to make your writing better day by day.
You might be surprised right now, but you already do a lot to hone your writing skills. Even though you don’t really regard yourself as a writer, you write a lot on a regular basis. E-mails, Facebook posts, job applications, resume updates to name just a few. You could also add messages to your friends and social media updates to this list. So, as you can see, you already write a lot. This is good news because it means that all you have to do to excel in writing is to be more cautious of what and how you write and develop a practical approach to sharpening your skills.
Structure Your Texts Properly
The first thing you should always keep in mind is that every piece of writing has its purpose and audience. Yes, many of us are fond of creative writing but no one will approve of an e-mail reminding a stream of consciousness. Don’t express your thought in an ambiguous way; otherwise, your reader will get confused. Here are some ideas about how you can make your texts more structured:
- Ensure your understanding of the concepts you are describing.
As Einstein once said, if a person cannot explain a notion to a child, he/she does not understand it. So spend some time testing your own knowledge of the concepts you are going to describe before getting down to writing.
- Outline complicated messages.
This means creating an outline for a piece of writing in which you will describe a complex notion taking different perspectives and answering various questions. Draw an outline or simply jot down the key ideas you are meaning to include.
- Try to predict the reader’s questions.
Imagine you are a reader of your own text. Do you feel that you have enough information to understand the main idea? If no, try to add more details. However…
- Don’t overload the text with details.
If you followed the rule #2, you should be able to explain the ideas clearly and simply. Overloading the text with unnecessary details means confusing the reader. If you do realize that the text is overly detailed, try going through every paragraph and removing what you think is not really crucial.
Learn to Be Concise
Although we all like talking, it’s not always useful, especially in writing. If your thoughts are rambling, the reader will soon get tired. Here’s how you can streamline your texts:
- Don’t overuse prepositional phrases
Prepositional phrases make your writing cumbersome. Although they may seem pretty simple on their own, prepositional phrases complicate sentences. Remember that however complex the concepts you are discussing might be, the writing style has to be as clear and simple as possible.
- Remove filler words and vague phrases
Not all of the words and phrases we use have meaning. In fact, many of them do not contribute to communication in any way. Meaningless phrases increase the word count, but they do not help you convince the reader.
- Adverbs won’t make weak verbs stronger.
Adverbs are the words which have suffix -ly. You can use them from time to time in a text, but if you find yourself looking for appropriate adverbs all the time, you must be choosing weak words. Consider replacing “run extremely fast” with “sprint,” for example. See, only one word makes your message clearer than a phrase with an adverb.
Choose Appropriate Writing Style
- Choose simple words.
There are only three types of words in any language:
- Words people know
- Words people have to know
- Words no one knows.
There is an obvious difference between having an advanced vocabulary and simply using perplexing words to show off. If you are confident in what you are saying and your arguments are strong and convincing, you can speak simply and straightforwardly.
And the last tip is to practise as much as you can. The more you write, the better writer you become.