7 Ways To Improve Your English Writing Skills

1) Planning

This is the time to just in general think about why you are writing and what you want to say.

If you need to research to back up your ideas, then make sure you are prepared to research and write SIMULTANEOUSLY.

* Too many people waste time researching and leave the writing to the last minute.

Extra tips- stay organised and safeguard your work by saving your files regularly and backing up important files.

2) Researching

Researching is really just a way to back up your ideas or add additional information.

Even if you’re writing an email it is always nice to refer back to things. For example, rather than just saying “I would like to talk with you at 3pm. Can you make it?”… Give people the courtesy of background information. For example, “I thought yesterday’s meeting went well. I would like to discuss the ideas presented in the meeting with you further. Would it be possible for you to come to my office at around 3pm?”

If it’s a more formal piece of writing such as an essay or report, then make sure you reference your ideas (even ideas that are paraphrased need to be referenced). Also, like in the email example above, don’t assume that people have appropriate background knowledge/ prior knowledge of the topic. Even though the person reviewing on marking your writing may know more than you about the topic; it is important to still provide some sort of background information to appeal to wider audiences.

3) Putting the pieces together

Take all of your ideas and compose them into your first draft. Double check the correctness and relevance of your references and bibliography. If it’s a personal email then double check that you have filled the person in on the background “gist” of the matter.

4) 2nd Draft

This is the time when you really refine your introductory paragraph. Make sure that all the points in the body of your writing are introduced in the introductory paragraph. Delete anything that is repetitive or unnecessary to the overall “gist” that you wish to get across.

5) Editing and double checking

Check for spelling, punctuation and grammar. A lot of people make a bad impression in emails due to bad spelling. Copy and paste your email into a word processing document, get the spelling checked and then copy and paste the fresh copy into the email.

For academic papers, at this stage you should be really trying to get the structure refined. Make sure topic sentences align with the points in your introductory paragraph. Don’t repeat the same points or words. Make what you’re writing meaningful and not just to meet a word count. You may need to go back and read more to get more of an idea of the subject you are writing about.

6) Writing the conclusion

Maybe you’ve already written a kind of draft conclusion. It is very easy just to skip over the conclusion due to tiredness or rushing. However, go over the conclusion carefully to make sure it addresses and summarizes the main points in the body of your academic paper or email. This is very important.

7) Editing again, formatting and finishing

Now is the time to go through the whole piece of writing and check for consistency.

Format your writing correctly (an email signature, font size and type, spacing, or a title page/ student number).

Label the document correctly and professionally.

Take a screen shot, or cc an important email or electronically submitted document to make sure you have evidence that it has been submitted.

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