Good English writing skills help you in business, in college and in society. With proper practice and training, you can improve your writing and become more successful, even if you have always had trouble with writing, or if English is not your native language.
Learn to spell and punctuate correctly. Use a good dictionary. Don’t rely on your computer spell checker. Consult a good English handbook to learn the rules of correct punctuation and capitalization. Others judge your writing by your spelling and mechanics. If your spelling is poor, study the rules with a vocabulary or spelling book. Consult an English handbook to learn the rules of correct punctuation and capitalization.
Learn correct grammar and sentence structure. For example, make sure every sentence you write has a subject and a verb. If you have gaps in your knowledge, take a writing or grammar class, consult an English handbook or do exercises at an online writing center such as the Purdue Online Writing Lab (OWL).
Practice the various genres or types of writing. Learn narration, description, exposition and argument. For business writing, study letter and report writing. Practice on your own using an online writing center or take a class.
Learn to write strong paragraphs. Practice writing a topic sentence or main idea statement for each paragraph. Then give specific details and write a conclusion. A strong paragraph usually has three or more details.
Learn to write clear five-paragraph essays. The standard form includes an introductory paragraph with a thesis (main idea), three supporting paragraphs and a concluding paragraph. The strongest place for the thesis of the essay is the end of paragraph one. Each of the three supporting paragraphs should expand on some part of the thesis. Make sure you use transitions to connect to each successive paragraph. Then write a conclusion that restates the thesis or summarizes it in some way.
Read quality written English every day. Read fiction or nonfiction books, magazines or newspapers. If you read good English, you absorb good English. Extensive reading can improve writing skills.
Practice fluency in writing by writing in English every day. Buy a notebook or journal and write for 20 minutes or more every day. Writing may become much easier in only a few weeks time.
Get feedback on your writing so you improve faster. If you are not taking a class, ask someone who writes well to read and correct some of your work. If you practice writing regularly, you can greatly improve your written English.
- “Vocabulary & Spelling Success in 20 Minutes a Day”; Learning Express Skill Builders; 2002
- “The McGraw-Hill Handbook of English Grammar and Usage”; Mark Lester and Larry Beason; 2005
- "Understanding and Using English Grammar"; Betty Schrampger Azar; 1999