Why are English writing skills essential?
Reading and writing are the two main aspects of mastering the English language. Moreover, writing is an exercise that demands grammar, punctuation, vocabulary, and semantics, all in proper proportions. So, as a writer, it is imperative to brush up on one’s English writing skills to survive in the game. The only way to get better at one’s art is – to practice.
Writers don’t excel in their craft overnight. Hence, it demands years of commitment and hard work to make it work. Whereas after a certain point, their work might appear stagnant. Therefore, this puts forth the importance of an English writing course. Likewise, such a course includes hacks and strategies that transform your business and work like a charm.
How can you improve your English writing skills?
1. Refurbish your writing, grammar and spelling skills
Only in grammar can you be more than perfect.-William Saffire
English is a necessity nowadays. As second language learners, it is crucial to forge a strong foundation. Since the resilience of the building lies in a solid foundation. Grammar is chiefly a system of rules that helps to structure a sentence. Moreover, grammar includes parts of speech, clauses, punctuation and semantics. We all have learnt the basics of grammar in school. But, if you intend to improve your English writing skills, then the first step is to brush your grammar and spelling skills.
As we tend to forget these skills over time, it is crucial to revise and sharpen skills. Though, it is not necessary to be a grammar genius. You still need to have a basic knowledge of the principles and semantics of the language. Also, it is a good idea to read a comprehensive book like The Elements of Style by William Strunk and E.B. White. Further, spellings are often confusing and misleading. Hence, it is imperative to determine your target audience first. Another thing to consider is – the localisation of language. For the unversed, there are two forms of English language – British and American English, and they differ in the usage of /s and /z.
2. Expand your vocabulary
Writing is not about flaunting your flamboyant language skills but about using the right words in the right place. As we know, It is crucial to connect with your audience. Moreover, most English learners are receptive to their vocabulary but fail to use new words while writing. Hence, the words remain locked on their bookshelves after reading.
But, if you write these new words, your brain tends to be more receptive to them. And it gets imprinted in those grey cells forever. Researchers claim that writing creates spatial relations about what we write in our brains. Therefore, this makes us remember better. If you love learning new words, learn at least five words every day; dedicate a book to capture these words with their meanings and usage. And go through the words, once a week, and imbibe them in your verbal and written communication. Furthermore, using a dictionary to expand your vocabulary improves your English writing skills.
3. Do proper research on the topic
Credibility is one of the crucial things to improve your English writing skills. However, due to deadlines or perhaps being indolent, writers elude from research. So, working with feverish hast, they gather data from not-so-credible sources. At times, the content falls short of research. Hence, it is imperative to allocate time for research before starting your project.
Another significant point is researching from credible sources rather than relying on common websites. If you are not confident about the statistics, then ascertain them from other sites. However, providing the readers with false data tarnishes your image and belittles you as an amateur.
4. Outline your writing
Do you experience writer’s block? Then, it’s the ineludible villain in every writer’s story. A powerful method to deal with writer’s block is to create an outline of your writing. Moreover, write the main headings of your work – the introduction, the steps or ways of the process, the conclusion, etc. Further, create placeholders for these points and later fill the space with the mind map.
Given the points, the outline is more like a battle plan to triumph in a war. It’s a strategy that writers follow to endure complex topics. Also, rendering a structure to your writing is essential –it saves both time and effort. In addition, to managing time, creating an outline also helps nail a complex topic. Breaking down your work into sections upscales the readability score as well.
5. Keep the sentences simple
“If you can’t explain it simply, you don’t understand it well enough.”-Albert Einstein
Unlike creative writing or poetry, content writing involves using simple sentences. Even many tools suggest writing simple sentences instead of complex sentence structures. Eventually, it depends on your target audience. Simple sentences also help to convey your idea with ease. A mix of both simple and complex sentences is desirable to maintain the content flow.
So, write in an active voice. Further, remove redundant words and keep a check on the word count of the sentences. Besides, plugins like the Yoast tool maintain a flex score for readability. In short, readability depends on simple sentences. In short, simplicity works wonders in improving your English writing skills.
6. Learn how to organise the paragraph
Readability is one of the pillars of good content. So, it is not only desired to create good content but also to organise it well. Moreover, use the concept of one-idea-one-paragraph. Thus, with paragraphs, you can cut the clutter and keep it simple.
Start the paragraph with the main idea you are about to explain. Then, move on to the supporting sentence – that provides more information on the idea. Later, you can end it with a conclusion – that summarises the idea explained in the paragraph. In between use transition words to maintain the flow consistent.
7. Avoid using adverbs
“The road to hell is paved with adverbs.”-Stephen King
An adverb is a word or phrase that describes a verb, an adjective, another adverb, or even the entire sentence. How can you recognise adverbs? They often end with – ly. Adverbs are also known as weak verbs. It’s okay to use them in a while, but not often. Moreover, when an adverb appears, it is assumed that the writer is short of words.
Even language tools like Hemmingway highlight the usage of adverbs and suggest replacing them with appropriate words. How can we reduce the use of adverbs? Adverbs can be replaced with – strong words. For example, instead of writing “ran really fast” write “sprinted” or replace “held firmly” with “clenched”. Further, create strong visual imagery to entice the readers.
8. Write it tight
People often write as they talk. But, verbal and written communication is different. While it is good to appear conversational, sometimes we end up wordy. Therefore, to improve your English writing skills, you have to write tight.
Tips for writing it tight
- Avoid using filler words like “really”, “basically”, “okay”, “just”, and “actually”. Though these words are often used they don’t add value to your write-up.
- Replace abstract words with concrete words. Moreover, use the actual names instead of pronouns like it, they, etc.
- Reduce the usage of frequently used redundant phrases such as “their own”, “final goal”, and “return back”.
- Also, minimise the usage of active voice and prepositional phrases.
9. Proofread and edit your writing
As you know, the first draft of your work is always messy. So, this emphasises the need to edit your work. While editing is a difficult skill, it also demands your time and patience. Hence, a simple and effective rule is – to keep a gap of 24 hours between writing and editing. Given the points, the logic is simple, writing is the addition of words, and editing is subtraction. Moreover, be a ruthless editor and eliminate the inessential.
Skills to edit and level up your English writing skills
- Observant and an eye-for-detail.
- Knowledge of grammar
- Writing skills
- Patience and timeliness
- Relevant editing experience
10. Practice writing preferably at the same time every day
While we are all well versed with the age-old adage – Practice makes a man perfect. Like any other skill, writing also calls for practice, be it years, months or days. At last, it depends on your calibre and your niche of writing. If a blank page or blinking cursor intimidates you then there’s only one way to overcome it – practice writing every day.
Whether you are an aspiring writer or writing is your hobby, write regularly. Also, preferably write at the same time since habits form over time. If you have a set routine like – writing at bedtime, then it’s easier to follow it. In short, there are no shortcuts to success – write every day. Also, diversify your writing sessions with different forms of writing. Try your hand at short stories, blogs, social media posts and even fiction some days.
11. Imbibe the habit of reading every day
Great writers are always avid readers. Undoubtedly, the joy of reading is irreplaceable. Moreover, it is imperative to diversify your reading. Read blogs, articles, social media posts and fiction, as well, to improve your English writing skills. While reading pay attention to the word choice, content flow, grammar and punctuation. Moreover, reading is an effective way to expand your vocabulary.
A simple hack that works is to read examples of what you are about to write. For example, if your next project is a listicle, read one before writing it. Create a schedule incorporating small reading sessions into your day. Then, extend the reading time to one hour over time.
12. Learn and absorb the writing style your revere
Imitate the writers you admire. Imitating doesn’t mean copying their content but observing their style and nuances and imbibing it subtly in your way. If there is a list of writers you look forward to, then identify what you love about them. For example, if you admire Sudha Murthy’s way of storytelling or Ann Handley’s sense of humour, then you could adapt it to your content.
Moreover, with time you will develop your style of writing. Experimenting and exploring new styles of writing is a great way to improve your English writing skills. However, identify your style and work on it.
13. Use grammar and spell check tools
Writing is a skill that takes time to master. With the advent of technology, the trends in Digital Content Marketing have changed a lot. There are many factors to consider, such as SEO, readability, searchability, and credibility. Besides, elementary things like grammar, punctuation and spelling matter the most.
Though writers prefer to proofread their work themselves or from a human editor, grammar tools make the work hassle-free. There are a lot of applications available like – Grammarly, Hemingway, Scrivener, and Ginger. Whether you are an amateur or an experienced writer, these tools emphasise how to improve your English writing skills.
To illustrate, grammar applications have features such as:
- Grammar and spell check
- Highlight punctuation errors
- Point out the redundant phrases
- Suggest to minimise the usage of active voice
- The usage of commas
- Unclear sentences
- Wordy sentences
- Commonly used words in the content
14. Be open to bouquets and brickbats for your writing
“Feedback is the breakfast of champions.”– Ken Blanchard
Writing is an iterative process. Moreover, it involves the steps like any other process – Analysis, Design, Develop, Implement and Evaluate. Further, this process repeats until you acquire perfection or complete your work. The process is called ADDIE’s model used in instructional design. Likewise, feedback is crucial to level up your English writing skills.
Although writing is a solitary activity, you need someone to improve your write-up. Positive criticism is good for one’s career, as it points out the flaws in your writing. Especially if you are a newbie, embrace the bouquets and brickbats in a positive sense. Your critic could be either your family member or a colleague. Never stop writing or exploring new styles because they didn’t work the first time. Probably, it may work the second time if you are determined to succeed. Besides, join a workshop or a literary group; post your write-ups and seek feedback.
15. Accept that the first drafts are always messy
While you might covet to write a masterpiece in the first attempt itself, that’s not how writing works. Writing is not a skill mastered overnight. Moreover, it requires time and effort to nail it. Given that, the first draft is always to edit. A first draft is a rough form of your idea or story, where you write what approaches your mind. Next, all you need to do is declutter and cut down the flab!
Yes, it is tedious to erase what you just wrote. If writing is the heart of your work, editing is sheer logic – the brain. Further, writing is a continuous process that requires re-work and resilience.
“So, the next time, don’t fret over your first draft –work on it.”
16. Don’t delay writing.
Are you still brooding over your thoughts? Stop it right away; write them. Yes, that’s how our brains are wired! When your first thought is over the paper, the next one flows. Don’t fret about creating a masterpiece. You can scribble your thoughts and edit them later. Remember, no content is perfect.
Especially if you are working for a firm or freelancing, deadlines are inevitable. So, time is crucial. Outline your thoughts, create a mind map and strategise your writing. Soon, you will learn to write with ease and acquire speed.
Overview of Henry Harvin’s English Writing Course
About the English Writing Course
As we know, English is a language spoken by 952 million people around the world. However, there is a difference between spoken English and written English. So, this sheds light on the need to enrol for an extensive course. Henry Harvin’s English writing course is ranked top in India. Also, the course is rated as 4.8 and has 2321 learners. Further, the course chisels its members to be proficient in English. At the end of the course, you can read complicated texts with ease and speed.
Levels of the Course
Henry Harvin’s English Writing Course has different levels as per the Common European Framework(CEFR), and they are as follows:
- A1: The Beginners Level – This is the basic level with fundamentals of English, such as exercises to write simple English sentences for beginners, words and pronunciation.
- A2: The pre-intermediate Level – This level encompasses sentence formation, grammatical rules, and sentence reading.
- B1: The intermediate Level – This level imparts the knowledge to read and write basic English. Here, they also learn to structure sentences and phrases.
- B2: The Upper Intermediate Level – Here, the students learn about complex text and chapters and will start speaking in English for longer durations.
- C1: The Advanced Level – This is the final level which works on the ability to deal with complex texts and speeches. Thus, the students acquire command over the English language.
Features of the English Writing Course
- The course involves 40 hours of live sessions at each level.
- Henry Harvin’s English Writing course is a 9-in-1 program including features like training, projects, certification, placement, e-learning, internship, masterclass, hackathons, and gold membership.
- Also, the course includes sessions under the mentorship of industry experts with 15+ years of experience.
- The course incorporates a comprehensive curriculum designed by experts that starts from the language fundamentals to sentence formation and paragraph writing.
- In short, the course renders 100% practical learning with actual examples of language basics like grammar and punctuation, sentence formation, and paragraph writing.
Additional benefits of the English Writing Course
- Further, the course provides 24×7 E-learning portal access.
- Moreover, the course provides 1-year gold membership from the Henry Harvin Writing Academy that incorporates live projects, job support, recorded sessions, masterclass, and career guidance.
- Besides, the course also assists in international English exams like TOEFL and IELTS.
- Also, the course has dedicated speaking sessions with native speakers to comprehend the accents and the usage of local words in speech.
- Furthermore, the course also provides the best placement with an affiliation of over 2100 hiring partners.
- To conclude, the course also provides 24 X7 to your grievances.
As writers, we all aim for one thing – perfection. Though, perfection is difficult to attain. One can improve their writing by refurbishing their skills. Choose a method that suits you as a writer to improve your writing; work on it. Reading and writing every day should be an ineludible part of the routine. Use grammar and spell check to proofread and edit your write-ups.
Above all, don’t just follow the mundane; experiment and explore your style. While the competition is fierce, the road is bumpy, and the journey is worth it!
- Different methods of teaching the English language
- 10 Best Books to teach English
- Top 10 important technical writing skills to know
- Top 10 books on creative writing
The different ways to improve your writing are researching, writing every day, reading regularly, writing in an active voice, cutting down redundant words, editing your work, and accepting feedback.
The four writing styles are Expository, persuasive, narrative and descriptive writing.
The Elements of Style by William Strunk and A Memoir of the Craft by Stephen King are the two books to improve your writing skills.
Practice writing every day, create a schedule to write and read, choose a topic or prompt to write and use an English dictionary to expand your vocabulary.
Good writing skills like grammar and spelling, attention to detail, hard work, researching, and enthusiasm to learn more are the skills to be a good writer.