Top Ten Tips To Improve Your Writing Skills

Practical Tips And Tricks:

Do you want to improve your writing skills? Is writing a composition that is grammatically correct the biggest challenge for you? Or do you simply want to write articles and stories that are free from errors and grip your readers’ attention? Stay put and read on as I share my top ten tips and tricks to help you improve your writing skills.

Writing Tips To Improve Writing Skills:

  1. Believe in yourself
  2. Read, read and read
  3. Get the basics right
  4. Write religiously
  5. Make a plan
  6. Proofread and edit your writing
  7. Revise your writing
  8. Get feedback
  9. First draft and you’re done? Not really
  10. Set a writing goal

01. Believe In Yourself

To improve your writing skills, you must believe in yourself. Writing should not be intimidating for you even if you don’t write regularly. I have seen many students and teachers who have excellent ideas, great vocabulary, and amazing English spoken skills, but the only thing that stops them from picking up the pen and expressing themselves through writing is their lack of self-belief. So, if anyone has ever told you that you can’t write well, this is your chance to prove them wrong. Just believe in yourself and start writing today. [Back to top]

02. Read, Read And Read

If you would like to write well, you ought to read well. Research has shown a strong connection between reading and writing. Do you remember the first time your Mom taught you how to speak? The same rule applies to writing as well. To learn the art of writing, you should read good writing because there is no substitute for reading. Follow a strict schedule for reading. Sparing 15 minutes, 30 minutes, or an hour a day won’t feel a lot, but it will remarkably improve your vocabulary, sentence structure, knowledge, and understanding of writing. Read travelogues, diaries, journals, newspapers, magazines, novels, or whatever interests you and you’ll notice a noticeable impact of regular reading on your writing skills. [Back to top]

03. Get The Basics Right

Read these sentences:

“Sam doesn’t takes his schoolwork seriously.”

“Jack is always been a jerk!”

“I didn’t knew that i am supposed to finish the task before 10:00 pm?”

If you are not sure what’s wrong in the sentences you just read, you better improve your understanding of the basic English grammar rules. It should not take you weeks to improve your grammar. It is just about knowing the correct grammar rules, identifying your grammatical mistakes, and fixing them. You can read Writing Tools by Roy Peter Clark or Grammar for Great Writing by Laurie Blass. Read the book and take notes as you read. Follow the exercises given and notice the examples of correct grammar shared in the books. You can also follow Grammar Girl to improve your grammar and strengthen your understanding of the English language rules. [Back to top]

04. Write Religiously

You must have heard the famous proverb ‘Practice makes the man perfect’. If you want to write well or if you want to learn how to write an article, or an essay or a story, the second most important tip is to write regularly. This goes without saying that you should read the kind of writing you want to write. For example, if you want to learn to write good descriptions, you should read books that are full of vivid descriptions, such as The Harry Potter Series, The Hunger Games, and The Hobbit and the Lord of the Rings. Once you learn how great authors write great descriptions, you can choose to read a book that teaches the writing strategies to improve writing skills in that genre. In this case, you can read Show, Don’t Tell: How to write vivid descriptions, handle backstory, and describe your characters’ emotions (Writers’ Guide Series) by Sandra Gerth, which teaches descriptive writing strategies, and you can complete the descriptive writing exercises given at the end of each chapter. The key is to write regularly and learn the specific writing strategies you need to improve your writing skills in that genre. [Back to top]

05. Make A Plan

Before you even begin writing, it is always a good idea to create a rough sketch of your writing and plan its structure. Graphic organizers or concept maps can do magic when used before you even start writing. They give structure to your ideas and while writing you will be clearer and confident about the flow, content, and language of your writing. [Back to top]

06. Proofread And Edit Your Writing

Would you prefer a plain cake without icing on it or a cocoa-brown perfectly ganache-glazed chocolate cake? Your writing is also just like a cake that no one would like to take a bite of even if it has wonderful ideas, great use of words, but has errors in spelling or grammar. Always proofread your writing, look for errors in spelling, punctuation, capitalization, and grammar. Again, you are your best critique. Just like a high school English teacher who loves to highlight all the teeny tiny errors in her students’ essays, use a pen, and highlight all the errors you find in your writing and rectify them. [Back to top]

07. Revise Your Writing

If proofreading and editing your writing is like a ganache for your cake, revising it is like cake decoration. Revising involves improving the word choice, sentence flow, and sentence structure for a stronger impact. What distinguishes revising from editing is that revising focuses on improving the writing craft whereas editing focuses on improving the readability, grammar, spelling, and punctuation of your writing. The writing process is incomplete without proper proofreading, editing, and revision. [Back to top]

08. Get Feedback

I always tell my students to read my feedback on their writing assignments. Having another pair of eyes evaluate your work and give genuine feedback is no less than a blessing. It might feel a little uncomfortable seeking writing advice from ‘just another colleague’ or ‘a friend’, but this is one of the crucial steps in developing writing skills. Imagine you spent three days writing, proofreading, and editing your best piece and the moment you share your writing with your teacher, she takes no longer than ten minutes in responding to you with a message like this: “Good try. I like your writing style. But I want you to add a dialogue here. Use foreshadowing in the beginning and create suspense in the third chapter.” No one in the world will bother to give you this kind of ‘customized feedback’. So the next time you run into your high school English teacher, seek their help. [Back to top]

09. First Draft And You’re Done? Not Really

The writing process isn’t complete without revising your first attempt at writing. Simply put, writing is a cyclical process. You research, plan, write/draft, revise, and edit your writing. Refining your first draft involves writing a second draft or even a third draft. Once you are done writing your first draft, to improve it even further you must incorporate the feedback you receive on your writing and write the improved version of your first draft. Read them carefully and see which one serves the purpose. [Back to top]

10. Set A Writing Goal

Read and review your writing. Read it aloud not once, not twice but thrice. Have a pen in your hand and cross out anything that sounds unnatural. Honestly critique your work and identify the common writing issues your writing shows. List them down and maintain a writing achievements journal to write down your writing improvement goals and writing improvement strategies you should use to achieve those writing improvement goals. Give yourself a deadline. Practice writing daily and track your writing performance in your writing improvement achievements journal. [Back to top]

Remember, writing is a process and you can improve your writing skills through practice. Perseverance is the key to success.

If you want me to analyze your writing sample, leave an excerpt from your writing in the comments section below and I’d be more than happy to give you my honest feedback on it. Good luck!

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Maham mujtaba
Maham mujtaba
3 years ago

Well said