How to Improve English Writing Skills - Interesting and Quick Ways
Most English students focus on English listening and speaking skills when studying English. The belief is that these are the most important skills that will allow them to use English in the real world; which is partly true. However, in the same way that it doesn’t make sense to go to the gym to strengthen one or two muscle groups and ignore all of the others, it doesn’t make sense to strengthen a few language skills and not all of them. The strength you gain in one area will benefit the other areas too. Each English skill needs to be practiced on its own but it does not exist entirely on its own.
Learners who aren’t studying English for academic purposes, business English or to take an English test usually overlook writing skills. Improving writing skills may seem like a waste of time if your main aim is to be able to use English in day-to-day life; however, improving your English writing skills will significantly improve your other English skills too.
Why is it Important to Improve English Writing Skills and How to Practice
Writing may seem to be a tedious task because it requires a lot of practice and a good understanding of spelling, grammar and punctuation. But the benefits of improving English writing skills extend beyond writing and also help you to improve your English speaking skills.
Speaking and writing are productive skills; which means they require the individual to produce language as opposed to comprehending language when reading and listening. The person who is writing or speaking needs to produce language in a logical way. You will be able to express yourself better when speaking English if you know how to write clearly and concisely. These two skills are closely linked and improving one automatically improves the other.
When compared with speaking, the added benefit of writing is that there is an opportunity to review, revise and correct our own mistakes. Writing offers a moment to reflect on the errors we make and why we make them - which gives us the tools we need to understand weaknesses in a language. Language learners need to be able to identify their strengths and weaknesses. Knowing where we need to improve gives us the power to start improving. If can’t set our sights on our destination if we don’t know where we’re starting from.
Punctuation is also an important skill to master because we punctuate our speech in the same way that we punctuate our writing. It’s essential to know where to pause and where to stop speaking to keep our speech interesting and engaging for the listener. If we ramble on non-stop, we will lose the interest of whoever is listening to us. If we pause effectively then we will have the opposite effect. We will draw the listener in and get them interested in hearing more of what we have to say. This is true for both public speeches and day-to-day conversations. We must take the listener’s and the reader’s experience into consideration to communicate effectively in English.
10 Tips to Improve English Writing Skills for Beginners
Jumping straight into writing in English can be daunting. Most learners who are wanting to improve their English writing skills don’t know where to start. If you are one of these learners, then we have some tips for you to get the ball rolling. Don’t hesitate to get pen to paper. The sooner you start, the sooner you will improve.
Writers write and writers read. You can’t expect to improve a skill when you don’t have a clear aim that you are working towards. Reading will enable you to understand how to write while exposing you to new vocabulary at the same time.
It’s also important to read a variety of materials. We write in different ways in different contexts. A social media post will look noticeably different from a blog or a newspaper article; so make sure that you expose yourself to all different types of writing. Novels are also a great resource for expanding your vocabulary and learning about creative writing. Creative writing is a wonderful outlet and it can help you develop your creativity when writing in English.
As you read, pay attention to how the piece of writing is structured overall and how the paragraphs are structured. Take note of the punctuation that is used and ask yourself why it is being used. All of these things will help you improve your writing skills. Your brain will also subconsciously recreate a similar pattern when you write a text after reading a model text.
Once you have read something new, create your own piece of writing that follows the same structure. Your writing will be clear and you will communicate effectively if you follow a clear writing structure.
Improve Your English Grammar
Improving your English grammar will help you to write better. In both speaking and writing, English learners fall into the trap of run-on sentences. Run-on sentences are two complete and separate clauses that look like one sentence because of a lack of punctuation (in writing) or pausing (in speaking). The biggest problem with run-on sentences is that the learner gets further and further away from original sentences and further away from the initial grammar point.
To avoid run-on sentences and to perfect your English grammar when writing, keep your sentences short and sweet. It’s important to break your sentences up and keep them as short as possible to maintain clear ideas that are expressed with excellent grammar.
Use A Dictionary And A Thesaurus
A dictionary will allow you to look up the best words to express yourself clearly and it will help you learn the spelling of words that you only know how to say. And a thesaurus will help you find new and interesting ways to say things. Writing becomes far more captivating when the language is varied and not repetitive.
Do Daily Journaling
Journaling is a great way to slip writing practice into your everyday routine. You don’t need to write pages and pages every single day to improve your English writing skills. You can write as much or as little as you want. Journaling is also a great way to use English vocabulary or grammar structures that you have learnt. This, in turn, will solidify the vocabulary and grammar and help improve your spoken English fluency.
Start With The Basics
Your writing does not need to be complicated. Start with the basics of sentence construction. It’s perfectly acceptable if your first attempt at writing consists of basic grammar structures and short sentences. Once you’ve mastered the basics, you must push yourself to use more complex grammar structures to vary your writing and make it more interesting. Look at the sentences you have written and find ways to transform them so they have the same meaning but a different structure.
“My father started washing the car this morning and he is still washing the car,” can be transformed into “my father has been washing the car since this morning.” The meaning of these two sentences is the same but the grammar structure in the second sentence is more complex.
Express Your Opinion
Writing is a great way to practice expressing your opinion - and we usually have a lot to say when we want to express ourselves. Try writing down your thoughts on recent events, world news or anything else that you have a well-formed opinion on. This will help you shorten the gap between thinking and writing and, consequently, thinking and speaking.
Analyse Writing Structures
Once you are comfortable with the basics of getting pen to paper, take time to analyse the structure of a piece of writing. Pay close attention to how the paragraphs are structured. A paragraph has one main idea and supporting details. If we overload a paragraph with too many main ideas then we risk forming an unclear piece of writing. Writing structures should be your best friend when writing. Writing structures streamline your thoughts into easily understandable and pleasant to read pieces of writing.
Edit Your Writing
The greatest benefit of writing is the fact that the words are permanent. They do not disappear like they do when we speak. Reread your writing and look carefully for your mistakes. Most English learners can correct their own mistakes. This is an excellent opportunity to learn where your strengths and weaknesses are in writing and speaking in English.
Ask Someone To Read Your Writing
Of course, you can only edit your own writing to a certain degree. Thereafter, it’s a good idea to ask someone else to read your writing. The best option is to have a native English speaker revise your writing. A native English speaker will ensure that you and your friends don’t solidify each other’s errors. However, a friend who has a higher level of English compared to you is a lot better than nothing.
Use Apps To Help You
Apps, like Grammarly, are wonderful tools to help you improve your writing skills. And instead of simply clicking the correction and moving on, spend some time understanding why you made the mistake and why the correction is correct. This will help improve both your grammar, spelling and writing skills.
What is English Everyday
English-Everyday is an English course with live lessons for English learners who want to improve their English with native speakers, professional teachers, and students from around the world.
You have live lessons where you can join every day. You can review all record lessons. There is a calendar of scheduled lessons so you can see when lessons are and at what time you can join.
In English-Everyday program, you have support and also you have student chat where you can speak with other students from all around the world. You can look at our feedback page so that you can know from which countries our students are. Before you join our program, we strongly recommend you sign up for our free seminar with Kris Amerikos, where you can learn:
- What goals you need to have to get better results
- How to become fluent in English very quickly
- What you need to do to have perfect pronunciation
- The 3 biggest mistakes you need to avoid
- Which free resources will help you learn English
- The best resource to use to improve your speaking
Questions That English Learners Usually Ask
Most English learners ask, first and foremost, how can I improve my writing skills if I don’t know how to write?
We need to read more if we want to be successful writers. Writing is a complex skill and we need to learn from professionals. Start with reading before you start writing.
Another common question is why should I improve my writing skills?
Improving writing skills also improves speaking skills. Writing and speaking are both produced by you. Writing is more forgiving because you have more time to think. And, if you improve your writing skills, you will also reduce the amount of time it takes for you to think before you speak.
Finally, many students are intimidated by the writing process, which creates the question: how do I get over my fear of writing?
You can overcome your fear of writing by starting with short sentences and short pieces of writing. You don’t need to jump into the deep end. Start wherever you are comfortable and build your confidence from there.
How Students Can Improve Their Writing Skills Online or At Home
Reading can be done absolutely everywhere. For many people, reading is an indulgent pastime but it’s also a great way to improve your listening skills, your comprehension skills and your writing skills. Start improving your writing by focusing on reading regularly. Find books, short stories or even social media posts in English to learn how to write well.
English learners can also use the internet to research writing prompts. Find a prompt online on something you are interested in and write without stopping. Don’t stop to think about what you’re writing. Drain your brain and put all of your thoughts onto paper. Then go back and edit your writing.
Write as much as you can. Keep a diary or journal in English and write in it daily. This is an easy task that can be completed anywhere.
Finally, find a native English speaker online who can help you edit your writing. Self-corrections and apps like Grammarly are great starting points, however, a native English speaker can help you perfect your writing skills. They can help you sound like a native speaker - both in writing and in speaking.
Is it Possible to Improve English Writing in 1 Month
You can drastically improve your English skills in 30 days. If you can maintain regular writing practice for one month then you will see a significant improvement in your writing and speaking skills. Improving your writing skills will also allow you to find your language strengths and weaknesses. Once you identify your weaknesses in English, you can work hard to turn them into strengths.