Foreigners in English-speaking countries are often surprised by the number of errors they make when writing. Unfortunately, these mistakes can easily lead to misunderstandings. Learning a new language requires regular practice and dedication on the daily, and luckily those pressed enough will always put in the work.
If you are just getting started and wondering how long it will take to master a new language to levels of efficiency that natives can respect, you may be surprised to learn it doesn’t take eternity. You can do a few simple things to make a big difference. Stay with me, and I’ll show you 5 of them. Ready? Let’s go.
Use a Dictionary and Thesaurus
Make sure that you have a good dictionary and thesaurus on hand to look up words that you don’t know and find other ways to say things. It will help you expand your vocabulary and allow you to be more precise in your writing. The dictionary can also be a great way to check your spelling.
Read as Much as You Can
This one is pretty simple. The more you read, the better your skill will be because reading helps to improve your vocabulary and grammar knowledge. It also gives you a chance to see how sentences are put together. If you want to write better, read as much as you can. When you come across a word you don’t know, look it up in the dictionary.
You can use Magoosh IELTS video lessons to improve your English skills. It is a great website that provides video lessons and practice tests for the IELTS test. Read the Magoosh IELTS review for more information.
Write as Much as You Can
Writing is another important point. The more you write, the better your skills will become. So keep a journal, write articles for your blog or website, or even send emails to your friends. It doesn’t matter what you write, just as long as you write something.
When you first start writing, you will make a lot of mistakes. That’s perfectly normal. Just keep writing, and you will see your skills improve over time.
Learn How to Spell
Learning how to spell may seem obvious, but it’s worth mentioning. You can’t write well if you don’t know how to spell words correctly. So how can you improve your spelling? One way is to use a spelling checker, such as Microsoft Word. But don’t rely on this too much because it won’t catch all of your mistakes.
Another way to improve your spelling is to look up the correct spelling of words in a dictionary and then practice writing them out. Using a dictionary may seem like a lot of work, but it will pay off.
Get Feedback From Others
Feedback can be very helpful, especially if it’s from someone who knows a lot about writing. Ask a friend or family member to read your work and give you their opinion. Alternatively, you could hire a professional editor to help you improve your writing.
You can also get feedback from a native speaker. It is a great way to find out if your essay sounds natural. Just find someone willing to read your work and give you their honest opinion. Apart from the above ways, several other tips can help you improve your written English skills, including:
- You can use online resources such as grammar books and websites to brush up on your grammar. And many software programs can help you improve your spelling and grammar. Just search for “English grammar software” or “English spelling software,” and you’ll find plenty of options.
- You can also take an online course: There are many online courses that you can take to improve your writing skills. Just search for an “online English writing course” and find plenty of options.
- Don’t be afraid to make mistakes. Everyone makes them, even native speakers. Just keep writing, and you will see your skills improve over time.
Some Techniques That Will Help You Improve Your Skills
Use active voice: Active voice is when the sentence’s subject is doing the verb. For example, “I am writing a blog post.” It is better than passive voice, which would be, “I am writing a blog post.” It sounds more natural and is easier to understand.
Use simple sentences: It’s better to use simple, clear sentences than long, complicated ones. It will make your writing easier to read and understand.
Use transitions: Transitions are words or phrases that help connect one idea to another. For example, “First,…”, “Second, …”, “In addition, …”, “Furthermore, …”. Transitions can help make your writing smoother and easier to read.
Use parallel structure: This means using the same grammatical form for two or more ideas that are similar in meaning. They make your writing clearer and easier to read. For example, “I like to write, sing, and dance.”
Limit your use of adjectives and adverbs: Adjectives and adverbs are words that describe or modify other words. These words can make your essay more interesting. But be careful not to use too many of them, or your writing will sound “flowery” and difficult to read.
Use specific and concrete words: Concrete words are specific and describe something that you can experience with your five senses. Abstract words are general and vague.
Phrases to Avoid in Formal Writing
When you’re writing something formal, such as an essay or a business letter, there are certain phrases that you should avoid. Here are some examples:
In my opinion…
To be honest…
These phrases are fine in casual conversation, but they don’t belong in formal writing. It’s because they make your opinion sound weaker. Do it without these phrases if you want to state your opinion in a formal essay.
English can be a tricky language to master, but these five simple tips should help you improve your written English skills in no time. By following these guidelines and practicing regularly, you will see an improvement in the clarity and precision of your writing. Keep at it, and soon you’ll be able to write with the ease and confidence of a native speaker.