Many people struggle with writing in English and it can seem like a real challenge to improve. Don’t worry, though. Here are 05 Simple Ways to Improve English Writing and impress people with your writing skills.
1. Read and analyze high-quality writing.
This is the oldest method, and still the best, to improve your writing. It’s how Shakespeare and all other great writers of the past learned how to write.
When I say ‘good writing’ though, I mean simply writing that has been reviewed and cleaned up by professional editors. You can find this kind of writing in newspapers, magazines, and books – these are the best materials to read.
By contrast, a lot of writing online (blogs, message boards, Facebook posts) is poorly edited, and often includes misused words, grammar mistakes, and non-standard punctuation. Learning how to write in English with these sources is risky, because you may learn a lot of bad habits.
That said, there is also a lot of excellent writing on the web, available for free.
2. Find a writing partner (or join a community).
To become a better writer, it’s not enough to simply learn a lot of words. You need to practice using them. Along with to reading a lot, you need to write a lot.
Obviously, there are many ways to do this: Write every day in a diary. Create your own blog. Share your thoughts on Facebook. Et cetera.
You’ll improve your writing faster, however, if you share your writing in places that are designed to give you feedback, either from native English speakers or from fellow student-writers.
3. Take a free writing course online.
There’s a lot to think about when writing—things like Spelling, Punctuation, Organization, Logic, and Style. These aspects of language are not so important when speaking (especially in conversational speech), but they become very important when writing (especially if you want to make a good impression).
So, one of the best ways to improve your writing fast is to take an online course. A lot of universities offer writing lessons for new students, and they have made these lessons available online to anyone, for free.
Below is a list of the most helpful, and best quality, courses I’ve found:
- Writing in English for University Study (Future Learn): This free 15-hour course from the University of Reading (in Great Britain) teaches you how to develop and organize your ideas, use academic vocabulary and impersonal style, and build essays using reason and examples (important for any type of university or business writing, and especially helpful for the IELTS Writing Test). Future Learn also offers an Intermediate version of the course you can try, and a shorter (9 hour) course that focused on IELTS Academic Writing from British Council (one of the co-creators of the IELTS).
- Better Business Writing in English (Coursera): For career-minded learners, this free 20-hour course can teach you how to craft well-written reports, proposals, and business presentations. The course was developed by Georgia Tech, one of the top English-speaking universities in the world, which also offers a course in how to write professional emails and a 4-month program on English Communication Skills (with lessons on how to speak by phone or at a business event, and how to create an English CV or website).
4. Learn how to identify bad writing
Nowadays, when most writing applications offer Autocorrect and Grammar Check features, you might expect ‘bad writing’ to have gone extinct. Yet plenty of bad writing still exists, because there are a lot of ways to write badly—even if your spelling and punctuation are perfectly correct. For example:
5. Analyze writing that you enjoy reading
While reading, you should look for useful words and phrases (and collect them for your writing). You should also be attentive to bad writing (and try to identify what the problems are and Improve English Writing). But you should also pay attention to really good writing, the sort of writing you wish you could write.