In an effort to update previous posts, here’s a refresh of one of my favorite posts about writing.
Writing can be difficult, whether you are writing in your native language or a second (or third! or fourth!) language. And writing for school, college / university, or business can really make the pressure soar.
But practice makes perfect! Regardless of the situation – writing casual emails or messages to friends, communicating for business, or completing a school assignment – there are simple ways to help you improve your writing.
The methods below are geared toward English language learners, but they apply to anyone wanting to write better in any language.
1. Read in English
That’s right: Reading in English will help your writing in English! When written language is modeled for you, like it is in a book or article, it makes elements such as structure, grammar, and punctuation easier to “take in” or internalize. If you’re worried you won’t understand an entire novel or book in English, try starting with simpler books for younger readers and gradually reading more difficult texts.
2. Write every day
Set a writing goal for yourself that is challenging but attainable. Maybe that’s just five sentences, or maybe it’s five paragraphs, or even five pages (you can do it!) – but make sure it’s a goal that isn’t so difficult you’ll feel overwhelmed.
Not sure what to write about? Start with simple sentences explaining what you did during the day. If that’s too simple, write about your feelings or opinions about what you did. Need more challenge? Write about what you plan on doing tomorrow or next week, or want to do in 10 years. Or reflect on something you recently read or viewed, or some issue happening in the world.
3. Buy a special writing notebook
Keep your practice writing all in the same notebook, much like a journal or diary.
In addition to being a symbol of how important the writing is to you, as time progresses, it’ll be a great way to see your improvement!
4. Rewrite your past writing
Rewriting your past writing is a great way to not only correct your grammar or punctuation mistakes, but also a great way to expand your vocabulary by looking for synonyms for the words you originally used.
Try a strategy such as focusing on finding synonyms for nouns one week, verbs the next, adjectives and adverbs after that, and so on.
5. Buddy up
Find a friend (online or offline) that you can occasionally trade writing with. Maybe it’s someone in your class, or a work colleague you can practice with by exchanging emails, or an online acquaintance who can give you feedback. A second pair of eyes on your writing can help you see errors that you missed!
Get more writing instruction with the “University Companion” course
My full-length online writing course helps you understand how to craft academic English essays for college and university classes and is especially for non-native English speakers.
There are 10 multimedia modules, and best of all, you get the entire course to keep forever for just one payment – and there is an option to get personalized feedback on your writing from Teacher Amanda!
Unit 1 of the course is free! Learn more and purchase the course here.
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