When it comes to writing skills, the first question you got to ask yourself is ‘to what means?’ Is it for an exam? Is it for the sake of improving? If the first question has an affirmative answer. Then, research the test material and proceed for the same. In case the second question turned out to be yes, then the important point you have to remember is hard work and practice. I am assuming it to be a language you already know and want to improve. I am going to divide improving aspect into two parts; Input and Output.
Start reading. Pick a book with an above-average level. Read at least 2 pages per day. Note down the words which are unknown to you. Even the words which you may be acquainted with can be part of the list. Write their meanings on the same day. Buy a diary/journal. Start writing about your day in it. Including your feelings, actions and expectations. Make it a habit. Every week go back to what you wrote, try substituting easier & commonly used words with the ones from your list of everyday reading.
Top Tips To Improve Your Writing
Be vigilant. Vocab has to be breathed in. Download a dictionary on your phone. Most of them have a word of the day option. Utilize this feature for improving vocab. Try learning/memorizing synonyms of words. Click a picture of new words you come across. Be it a bar, cafe, billboards, toothpaste tube. Google it later.
A good writer is someone who is;
- Able to reflect the exact idea they want to convey
- Use suitable vocabulary
- Keep it to the point
- Use a style which engages the reader
Here are some of the tips or tricks which work for me for the above pointers. If you master this skill, 60% of your writing is taken care of. It is one of the most important and difficult writing habits to attain.
What I do is write about my thoughts and ask someone to read it. Based on what they read, I ask them to summarize what they understood. This helps me understand how well the idea is painted and what is missing. Another effective tip is to write every day. Even if it is 10 sentences it is okay. From this, your understanding of your writing will deepen and by comparing your work you will come out with ways to improvise.
The Importance Of Vocabulary
For vocabulary, I suggest to read. Newspapers, novels, articles anything. Notice the usage of words that you don’t understand and try to guess based on the structure of the rest of the text. Then refer the dictionary and write it down somewhere. After, that make sure to use it as many times as possible until you become familiar with it. Good vocabulary will help you reduce many unnecessary words.
Another trick is to take on challenges of word limits. Take a subject, structure your idea and give yourself a limit of X number of words and examine if your idea is reflected well in that limit. What works for me is – review. I write my text, review it after 1–2 hours and read from the perspective of a reader. This helps me to judge the requirement of words/sentences accordingly.
Writing style is dependent on you. You can choose your style based on the content you intend to offer. Some people have descriptive style, some keep it to the point, some uses lot of bullets (like me), some like to add catchy phrases, some have narrative style and so on.
Choose whatever you like, but all can have some common elements like surprise, clarity and personal touch. When the audience connects with you at a personal level, they tend to read your content with extra excitement and eagerness.
Some more general tips;
- Avoid grammatical errors (I am still a little weak at this)
- Review your work at least two times
- Make writing a habit and not a hobby
- Ask for feedback
- Don’t use SMS language
- Learn the difference between professional and casual style of writing