11 Tips to Help You Improve Your Writing Skills
Expressing your thoughts, sharing them with others, and getting feedback is great. Each of us wants to develop and learn all the time.
If you are one of those people who think, "I wish it was so easy for me to write my college essay, but I am afraid I don't have enough writing skills," we have good news for you. You are developing your writing skills through practice. We have prepared tips that will help you add confidence and improve the quality of your writing.
1. Use strong verbs
Use simple present or past tense forms of verbs. Never use the passive voice when it is possible to use the active voice. The active verb form is easier to understand than the passive verb form and conveys the actions taking place more expressively.
2. Do not be wordy
Excessive words are the worst enemies. When you write a sentence, look at it and throw out half the words. Not good yet? Change the wording so that it works.
3. Follow the word order
Begin a sentence with a subject and a predicate, placing additional members after them. Even a long sentence can be simple and clear when the subject and the predicate make its content transparent. The subject and predicate are on the left; everything else branches off to the right. The clarity and strength of the narrative grow from sentence to sentence in the paragraph.
4. Look for original images
Look for original images, make lists of synonyms, free associations — marvel at the possibilities of language. You should reject clichés and first-level creative ideas. When a trivial phrase tempts you, you should write it down on a piece of paper and try to come up with variations. These are usually similes — brave as a lion, white as snow, as clear as mud, etc.
5. Dot is a stop sign
Put strong words at the beginning and end of sentences and paragraphs.
A comma in a sentence is a speed bump that slows down your reading speed, and a period is a stop sign. At this point, the thought expressed in the sentence ends. A slight pause in the flow of reading emphasizes the last word. And any word after the dot says, "Look at me."
6. Use headings
It's easier to grasp the structure of an article if you can highlight the main parts.
All good articles are divided into parts: introduction, main part, conclusion. Even an author whose canvas doesn't show stitches can point us to invisible seams. The author knows the big parts of the article, and they can name them for the reader by using subheadings. A reader who sees the division into parts is more likely to remember the whole article.
7. Write every day
There are always ideas to write about on a daily basis:
- What were you dreaming about today?
- What would you do if you had won a lottery?
- What is a good day for you?
- What was your biggest childhood dream?
- What would you say to yourself as a child?
- Describe your day if you were a dog.
Write every day, and it will help you develop your writing skill and creativity more and more. You can find more ideas on the Internet.
8. Shorten long sentences and paragraphs
Readers do not like sheets of texts that seem endless. A short paragraph is much easier to perceive than a long one. You can check if the sentence is too long if your breathing is not enough to finish reading it. If you read the paragraph and realize that you start getting distracted, you should change something in your wording or divide it into two smaller ones.
9. Details vs. Twists and turns
There are details, and there are twists and turns, but they are not the same thing. Details are features of a character of an episode that tell something important about a person, a landscape, or a scene. And twists and turns are malicious, unimportant clarifications that you could avoid. When you write your text, try to think if a reader still could perceive the whole idea without that information.
10. Write for purpose
Think of your text as if you're writing for one specific person and trying to get their attention. Writing is first and foremost a way to share your knowledge, and if you get one person's attention, everyone else will be interested, too. Think of your text as a cover letter, and your style is sure to improve.
11. Use dictionaries
This is the trouble with today's authors, who have absolutely no understanding of the meaning of the words they use, no grasp of connotations, no understanding of word work, to say nothing of the text. Always check a word if you have the slightest hesitation.
Following these simple writing tips can help you enhance your writing skills if you follow them regularly. The secret of any advanced level is in constant practice.