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How to improve your writing skills?

How to improve your writing skills?

By DIYStudentPublished about a year ago 4 min read
How to improve your writing skills?
Photo by Aaron Burden on Unsplash

Writing is an essential skill in almost every profession, and it is important for individuals to improve their writing skills. Improving writing skills requires effort, practice, and patience. Here are some ways to improve your writing skills:

Firstly, reading is the foundation of good writing. Reading helps to develop vocabulary, understand the structure of language, and provide inspiration for writing. As Hemingway said, "There is no friend as loyal as a book" (Hemingway, 1929). Reading exposes writers to different writing styles, genres, and topics, which can help them to develop their own unique writing style. According to a study by Krashen and Brown (2007), "Students who read extensively have better reading comprehension, writing style, vocabulary, and general knowledge" (Krashen & Brown, 2007, p. 35). Thus, reading is an important tool for improving writing skills.

Secondly, practice makes perfect. Writing regularly is key to improving writing skills. The more you write, the better you become at it. Set aside time to write every day, even if it is just for a few minutes. Start small and build up the length and complexity of your writing. According to Ericsson, Krampe, and Tesch-Romer (1993), "The amount of practice predicted the level of attained performance" (Ericsson, Krampe, & Tesch-Romer, 1993, p. 393). Therefore, consistent practice is crucial to improving writing skills.

Thirdly, get feedback on your writing. Feedback helps writers to identify their strengths and weaknesses and make necessary improvements. Find a writing partner or join a writing group to get feedback on your writing. Additionally, consider hiring a professional editor to provide constructive criticism on your work. As Faulkner once said, "In writing, you must kill all your darlings" (Faulkner, 1951). This means that writers must be willing to let go of their favorite parts of their writing if it doesn't serve the story or argument. Feedback helps writers to recognize these parts and eliminate them.

In addition to these three methods, here are some other ways to improve writing skills:

Use active voice: Use active voice to make writing more engaging and clear. Active voice puts the subject at the beginning of the sentence, which makes the sentence more straightforward. For example, "The dog chased the cat" is in active voice, while "The cat was chased by the dog" is in passive voice. Passive voice can make writing feel weak and vague. According to Strunk and White (1959), "Use the active voice…It is more direct and vigorous than the passive" (Strunk & White, 1959, p. 18).

Use precise language: Choose words carefully to make writing more precise and specific. Avoid using vague language or jargon that readers may not understand. Instead, use concrete nouns and active verbs to make writing more vivid. According to Williams (2003), "Clarity is the prize in good writing" (Williams, 2003, p. 4).

Edit your work: Editing is essential to improving writing skills. After writing a first draft, revise and edit it multiple times to refine your ideas and improve clarity. Pay attention to grammar, punctuation, and spelling errors, as well as awkward phrasing or repetition. According to Lamott (1995), "Almost all good writing begins with terrible first efforts. You need to start somewhere" (Lamott, 1995, p. 22). Editing is where the real writing happens.

In conclusion, improving writing skills requires effort, practice, and patience. Reading, practicing writing regularly, and getting feedback on your work are the foundations for improving writingskills. Additionally, using active voice, precise language, and editing your work can help improve the quality of your writing. Remember that writing is a process, and it takes time and practice to improve. As Zinsser (1976) wrote, "Writing is hard work. A clear sentence is no accident. Very few sentences come out right the first time, or even the third time" (Zinsser, 1976, p. 10). Therefore, be patient with yourself and keep practicing.

Improving writing skills is not only important for professionals but also for personal growth. Writing allows us to express our thoughts, feelings, and ideas in a way that can be understood by others. It is a powerful tool for communication and can have a significant impact on how we are perceived by others. As Maya Angelou once said, "Words mean more than what is set down on paper. It takes the human voice to infuse them with shades of deeper meaning" (Angelou, 1984). Therefore, improving writing skills is a worthwhile investment in oneself.

Bibliography:

Angelou, M. (1984). I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings. Random House.

Ericsson, K. A., Krampe, R. T., & Tesch-Römer, C. (1993). The role of deliberate practice in the acquisition of expert performance. Psychological Review, 100(3), 363-406.

Faulkner, W. (1951). Requiem for a Nun. Random House.

Hemingway, E. (1929). A Farewell to Arms. Charles Scribner's Sons.

Krashen, S. D., & Brown, C. L. (2007). What is academic language proficiency? Journal of the European Second Language Association, 1(2-3), 34-45.

Lamott, A. (1995). Bird by Bird: Some Instructions on Writing and Life. Anchor Books.

Strunk, W., & White, E. B. (1959). The Elements of Style. Macmillan.

Williams, J. M. (2003). Style: Lessons in Clarity and Grace. Longman.

Zinsser, W. (1976). On Writing Well. HarperCollins.

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