e-book A Quick Guide To Improving Writing Skills

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You might be called upon to write a report , plan or strategy at work; write a grant application or press release within a volunteering role; or you may fancy communicating your ideas online via a blog. Today, when anyone can be their own publisher, we see more and more examples of poor writing skills both in print and on the web. Poor writing skills create poor first impressions and many readers will have an immediate negative reaction if they spot a spelling or grammatical mistake. As just one example, a spelling mistake on a commercial web page may cause potential customers to doubt the credibility of the website and the organisation.

This section of SkillsYouNeed aims to make you think about your writing - from grammar , spelling and punctuation , how to plan your writing, and the various processes and checks to go through before pressing print or broadcasting your message online. It also provides guides for specific pieces of writing that you may need to produce, whether at school, university, or in the workplace. Correct grammar, punctuation and spelling are key in written communications.

The reader will form an opinion of you, the author, based on both the content and presentation, and errors are likely to lead them to form a negative impression. Checking for poor writing and spelling mistakes should be seen as a courtesy to your readers since it can take them much longer to understand the messages in your writing if they have to think and re-read text to decipher these. All written communications should therefore be re-read before sending to print, or hitting the send button in the case of emails, as it is likely that there will be errors.

If at all possible, take a break before re-reading and checking your writing, as you are more likely to notice problems when you read it fresh. Even if you know spelling and grammar rules, you should still double-check your work or, even better, have it proof-read by somebody else.

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Our brains work faster than our fingers can type and accidental typographical errors typos inevitably creep in. The good news is that writing is a skill which can be learned like any other. One trick for checking and improving your work is to read it aloud. Reading text forces you to slow down and you may pick up problems with the flow that your eye would otherwise skip over.

Writing Skills | SkillsYouNeed

Another way to improve your writing skills is to read - as you read you pick up new vocabulary and engage with different writing styles. Always write with your audience in mind, and it can also help to bear in mind the medium in which you plan to publish. This knowledge will help you to decide whether you need to write in a formal style or a more informal one , and will also help you to decide on a suitable structure. Finally, have a look at our page on Common Mistakes in Writing and Gender Neutral Language to help you avoid falling into some easy traps.

Jordan Peterson on how to improve your writing

They exist because they explain exactly what we want to say in easy-to-understand terms. But some people find them very annoying, and you need to use them with care.

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There are many times in your life when you will be asked to write something very specific. Whether this is to take notes of a conversation, write the minutes of a formal meeting, or prepare a report, all these types of writing require specific skills, and usually a particular style.

Writing Skills

During another class, they can put their imaginations to work and do some novel writing. The moment you provide your students with a specific assignment, take a few moments and explain to them how they should go about it. For example, you can emphasize the importance of creating clear and concise outlines before they start writing. Another thing you can do is give them a starting point. Show them some techniques that will save them time and energy.

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With time, they will significantly improve their writing skills. When it comes to improving writing skills—for everybody, not just for students— feedback plays a huge role during the process. Your role as a teacher, besides the teaching, is to offer your students quality feedback.

Your feedback should contain specific tips and corrections for each and every student separately. Most successful writers are also keen readers. Try to make your students understand the importance of everyday reading, and the link between reading and writing. A good way to make it easier for them is to give them clear instructions and reading material. In doing so, they will see great improvements when it comes to their word choice, sentences structure, and how the whole content will sound. With your help, your students can become better and better as the time passes.

As mentioned earlier, you play a huge role in their education and in their skills development process. You CAN truly make a difference, and you should!

5 Simple Ways to Improve Your Writing Today

Karen Dikson is a college instructor and writer from New Jersey. She writes for several education resources, including Huffington Post. Karen loves teaching, writing, and helping her students to reach their goals. Connect with her on Twitter.

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