6 Ways to Improve Your Writing In English
Are you looking to step up your English writing skills? Unfamiliar vocabulary, challenging grammar, and lack of confidence can make it difficult to put your thoughts onto paper. However, with our tips you can work through any obstacle and become a skilled writer.
1. Keep a Growth Mindset
One of the most important things to keep in mind when trying to improve your writing, or any skill, is to maintain a growth mindset. What is a growth mindset? Having a growth mindset means that you believe that your skills can be developed through hard work. No matter your natural talents, you can always improve yourself if you’re dedicated to learning.
Research has shown that those with a growth mindset learn better. If you’re feeling frustrated, defeated, or stuck with the English language, a growth mindset can help change your perspective. Mistakes should not be viewed as discourment or failure. Instead, they are opportunities for improvement. If you accept your mistakes and use them as a chance to learn more, your English language skills will improve in no time.
As you learn and practice English, try to keep a growth mindset. Remember, there is no limit to what you can do. Everyone starts at different levels, but with hard work and dedication you can become fluent in English.
2. Practice Consistently
The best way to improve your writing in English is to practice! Even for native English speakers, reading and writing regularly is the best way to get comfortable with writing. Luckily, there are many ways to make practice fun!
One of the best ways to improve your writing is to keep a daily diary in English. Write down your thoughts, feelings, and news for the day. You will have both a record of your life to look back on and the opportunity to express yourself in English. Whenever possible, try to think in English as you write, rather than translating your thoughts. This will help you compose sentences more easily and naturally.
If you’re having trouble thinking of what to write, try translating a short story or poem that you enjoy in your native language! While thinking and writing in English can help you come up with things to say on the spot, translating can help you understand the intricacies of the language. The great thing about translating literature is that there is no right answer. You can express yourself with the specific translation choices that you decide to make.
You can’t become a great writer without being an avid reader. There are many websites that you can use to practice reading. News websites like The Guardian or NPR have factual articles written in plain language, plus opinion pieces that often use more complex writing. If you would like to find a good book to read, Come On Out English students can find our book recommendations for every level in the Learning Library.
Many English speakers expand their vocabulary through word a day programs, which feature a new word each day to help pace your learning. You can subscribe to Merriam Webster Learner’s Dictionary’s word a day service. Many of these selections are casual sayings that you might not come across in academic settings, making it a great way to fill gaps in your vocabulary. Daily words can also be used as writing prompts. Composing sentences with these new words can help you remember their meaning and practice writing.
3. Correct Your Work
Mistakes are not failures, but learning opportunities. Therefore, it’s always a great idea to go back to your work and improve it. When writing, it’s important to keep your momentum up. The best approach is to write continuously without worrying too much about mistakes, then go back after you’re done and correct your work, all with a growth mindset.
One of the best ways to review your writing is to read it aloud. Reading aloud forces you to slow down, allowing you to catch any mistakes that you would normally skip over. Additionally, it can help you get a new perspective on your writing. If you stumble over a sentence or struggle to remember what it means, that is a signal that you could improve the wording.
Another important aspect of correcting your work is writing with the proper tone. In English, there are different writing conventions when composing for different purposes. For example, academic essays do not use personal pronouns, like I or me, or contractions. News articles usually follow a set structure and have simple grammar. Creative works are told with a wide range of styles, but it’s always important to remember the rule “show, don’t tell.” This means that you should use imagery and action to reveal what characters are feeling, rather than stating it directly.
4. Use Writing Tools
If you’re unsure of how to correct your work, worry not! There are many resources that can help you improve your writing in English. When writing in a new language, it is common to want to express ideas or use styles that you haven’t learned before. Luckily, these online resources can supplement your learning.
Grammarly and spell check are writing tools that are used by native speakers and English learners alike. Grammarly is a free extension that can be added to your browser. It gives you suggestions to improve your grammar, style, and tone. Most laptops and phones automatically use spell check, which highlights typos and misspellings. While these tools are a great way to catch your mistakes, they are not perfect. It is best to use your own judgement rather than accept every suggestion from programs like these.
Online dictionaries are extremely useful when writing, putting new words at your fingertips. One good option is One Look Dictionary, which automatically searches different online dictionaries. There are many different search options that allow you to find words based on the letters within them, concepts they are related to, their acronyms, and more.
There are many useful archives that can help you write in English. Using English has lists of common English idioms, phrases, and irregular verbs. Using these special words and phrases can help your writing sound more natural. The Purdue Online Writing Lab is a large database of free resources, including style guides for citations and different genres. If you’re ever stuck with nothing to write, online word generators are a great tool to get you inspired.
5. Take Lessons with Come On Out English
While consistently practicing your writing and using online resources are good ways to grow as a writer, these methods work best when supported by a great teacher. It can be difficult to catch your own mistakes and gain direction in your learning. Therefore, having guidance from an instructor is critical to make sure that you’re constantly progressing in your studies.
When it comes to improving your writing, nothing beats one-on-one coaching with qualified English teachers. Come On Out English is a great option. Whether you want to write professionally, creatively, or academically, our teachers can tailor lessons to your needs. We provide our students with:
- Personalized lessons
- Online courses
- An extensive Learning Library
- Enriching games
For anyone who wants to grow as a writer, lessons with Come On Out English are a great way to begin.
6. Get Help From Your Peers
Having a network of fellow English learners is very important when trying to improve your writing. Finding a study partner to write with is a great way to hold yourself accountable, get feedback on your writing, and see common mistakes of English learners. You can look at school-affiliated and local English clubs for an in-person learning partner.
There are many online communities where you can seek a writing partner, speedy responses to grammar questions, and support from others with similar goals. Some famous ones are Dave’s ESL Cafe, Linguaholic, and English Forward. While it may take some time to get your questions answered online, it’s always a good idea to search for similar posts. Since these forums have been active for many years, the solution to your question may already be waiting for you.
As you practice your writing, remember that any hardships are simply opportunities for growth. With dedication and the right resources, anyone can become an amazing writer. Join us at Come On Out English to grow as an English learner!