10 Ways to Improve Your Written English

10 Ways to Improve Your Written English

English is a challenging language to learn, but the good news is that it’s not among the hardest ones.

If you are dedicated enough, you'll master every aspect of English in no time.

But sometimes it's even easier to improve your skills when you use some tips and tricks. 

That's why we are here!

Before we dig in, why don't we take a look at what makes English challenging?

So what makes English so tricky?

Many students face difficulties with writing English.

It is sometimes hard to write properly since there are certain rules.

Not only that - there are also exceptions.

In the end, you aren’t sure anymore if there are more rules or exceptions.

So, what should you pay attention to more?

One thing is sure!

Improving your written English broadens your horizons in both your personal and career-related pursuits. 

Here are some of the tips on how to improve your written English and become a master of writing.

If you need help from a professional, you can always contact our native tutors.

"Help will always be given to those who ask for it."

Harry Potter

10 Practical Ways to Improve Your Written English

The importance of vocabulary

According to the Cambridge dictionary, the definition of vocabulary is the following:

a stock of words used by a group of a particular people or group of persons; the words of a language, and signs or symbols, or a system of nonverbal communication.

The vocabulary alone doesn’t have much of a sense if it isn’t used in the proper context.

Our mind collects facts that mean something.

It learns from experience.

Vocabulary gained through reading is much more memorable. A good and active vocabulary will help you express your thoughts more adequately.

Tips:

Learn root words. Just like in other languages, and English as well, most words are built from a common root. Once you learn them, you will understand better all other words that have the same source.

Vocabulary and reading are connected. To improve your vocabulary through reading, first of all, you should start by reading one paragraph. Then try to summarize out loud what it was all about, and then review it.

You will find some words or phrases in the paragraph you haven’t used before, but you know them.

You will also notice words or phrases you haven’t used because they seemed unfamiliar at the time. Find out their meanings and use them in sentences to fully understand their usage.

Empty words. Words such as ‘uh,’ ‘mhm,’ etc. are surely familiar to you. However, be honest – you are using them in writing, just like in speaking.

Why don’t you try to replace them with more appropriate words? Try this out not only with words but also with longer phrases and sentences.

Improve English spelling

Spelling is the forming of words from letters that compose a word.

It’s a known fact that a lot of English words are not pronounced exactly how they are spelled.

There are, of course, some basic rules, and about 75% of words in English follow these rules.

But as always in life, with rules come exceptions.

Ultimately, spelling is the most important aspect of learning how to master writing in English.

If you misspell a word, it can change the entire meaning, even the whole context.

It is interesting that native speakers also admit spelling is one of the hardest parts in English and often find it confusing.

Tips:

Commonly misspelled words. There are plenty of words that are hard to spell, which many native speakers also find tricky. Make sure you learn those words accurately.

An interesting fact is that we mainly don’t use those words every day. Some of those words are: basically, believe, foreign, until, etc.

Difficult words. To memorize some tricky words, try turning them into silly and refreshing sentences. For example, you can learn the word  ‘rhythm’ with the phrase ‘Rhythm Helps Your Two Hips Move.”’

Choose which country’s spelling you want to use. There is a difference between American English, British English, Canadian, and Australian. For example, the word ‘color’ is in American English, but if you write it as ‘colour,’ it is written in British English.

You will come a long way if you read every day

In this post-modern era, we often wonder why we would bother to read at all if we can watch movies, TV shows, listen to podcasts, etc.

It is important to understand that watching or listening is a passive activity where you do not take as much effort as when you are reading.

Reading, on the contrary, is active and requires quite an exertion.

Tips:

Again, we are back on the connection between reading and vocabulary. It will help you understand the language better and improve your vocabulary.

Read a lot! It is one of the essential tools when we are discussing tips on how to write in English.

Reading can’t be boring.

For example, if you choose a book, start reading, and if you find it uninteresting after a while, you can always leave it and find another one. You can read it several times, too.  

Read every day. There are always some new words or phrases you can learn. Reading will introduce you to them. Thanks to books, newspapers, etc. besides new common words, you have the option to also learn new, modern, and wacky words or phrases, such as ‘wacky’!

Word of the Day

The title says it all, so there is no need to explain the phrase ‘Word of the Day’. This game became very popular in the past few years. You can expand your vocabulary with this way of learning too.

Tips:

Subscribe via e-mail. Many dictionary apps have the options “word of the day.” You can subscribe to receive words via e-mail, and they will send you new words of the day every day.

There will be days when you get some boring and uninteresting words or phrases.

On some days, you will find the words useful.

The point is that this way, without even noticing, you will grow your vocabulary. You will get used to the writing logic just by spending several seconds every day on the word of the day.

Make your word of the day. If you, perhaps, aren’t a fan of receiving e-mails, then make your own word of the day.

Open a dictionary, pick a word you don’t know, and write it down. Look carefully at how it is spelled and written, and make sure you understand its meaning.

Tomorrow, try writing it down, repeating it for yourself, and defining its meaning.

Keep a journal

Today’s kids aren’t so familiar with diaries or journals. Even if you find them childish, journals can indeed help you.

Tips:

Write the journal in English, not necessarily daily, but every two or three days, or perhaps weekly.

Write about what happened during the day or gather some of your thoughts, plans, or wishes.

Use some of the words or phrases you’ve recently learned. Remember to use proper grammar because the more you use it, the more natural it will seem to you over time. It will not only help you improve your written English, but it will help you with speaking, too.

Text and copy

Perhaps it may seem a little boring to some people, but one of the secrets of how to improve your write in English is copying.  

Tips:

Find some interesting topics, for example, a dialog, and copy it. First, read it, then copy it, and in the end, write it down but don’t copy the original version.

When you finish, check and correct your mistakes – if there are any, of course.

This way, you can practice writing, and over a short period, you will ‘have a better feeling’ of how to write a specific word. But, that is not just a feeling; your copying practice will help you a lot.

You can’t say ‘No’ to grammar

Grammar is an essential part of the English language, and it has a high impact on your knowledge. However, this is a subject that can be quite confusing and complicated, especially for people who speak English as a second language. Correct grammar is essential for your proper writing. 

Tips:

Take grammar tests. Whenever you have time, do grammar exercises. Not only you will improve your written English, but you will also clearly understand the usage of tenses, adjectives and adverbs, some rare punctuation marks (such as ellipsis or a comma with a period over it), and commas.

Be specific. Don’t make confusing sentences. Instead of one log, make two short sentences.

Be consistent. Naturally, you will have to make decisions about how to construct sentences, which can be pretty challenging. But don’t forget. Maintain your style and be consistent.

Search for practice 

On the mention of practice, many people become shy and lack confidence. However, if you want to improve your writing in English, the main tip is to practice, practice, and practice. 

Tips:

Practice and make mistakes. You have to work on making mistakes too. It’s not the end of the world if you make a mistake.

That way, you can also learn the correct way of a word or a phrase. The more you practice, the more intuitive language becomes. 

Find native English speakers.

After some time, when you get more confident, feel free to practice with native English speakers.

Have fun!

Let us admit, all of these tips can be boring over time. You can’t be concentrated or have the same results every day.

Sometimes you need to give yourself a little break. How can you do that without losing your routine?

The answer is: have fun!

Tips:

Take quizzes. On the internet, you can find various types of quizzes that are fun and interesting.

Just write in the ‘search bar’ a phrase, such as ‘interesting quizzes,’ and you’ll get results.

Pick one you find exciting and enjoyable. You won’t be aware that you are practicing your writing skills. Your brain memorizes everything, so even it is a game for you, you are actually learning.

Proofread everything you write

In the proofreading procedure, you search for errors in spelling, grammar, and word usage. It is the final step, so if you put together all the tips as mentioned above, after writing, you should check out all these parts so that you are sure everything is written correctly.

Tips:

Read the written document aloud. It can help you see if there are any mistakes, how it sounds, and if you perhaps wrote ‘if’ instead of ‘is’ by accident, etc.

Read the written document carefully. When you proofread your paper, it is essential to read it slowly and carefully, making sure that there are no mistakes in grammar, punctuation, spelling, or word usage.

After you check all these parts, make sure that the message you want to send is clear and that sentences are written in a simple and understandable way.

Edit if needed. If there are some mistakes, correct them. Use dictionaries, ask the internet for help, or if you have the possibility, ask native English speakers to help you.

Conclusion

All of the ways and tips mentioned above on how to improve your English writing will not give good results if you don’t believe you can do it.

In the beginning, you will feel discouraged, and there will be times when you will think you can’t do it, or that is way too difficult.

The main point is to stay focused and concentrated, be in balance with yourself the way you believe in yourself.

Bad days will go, but new and better ones will come.

If you try enough and apply these tips, improvement is just around the corner.

If you’re interested in improving your English even further, consider these excellent online learning resources: Kick off your journey with Babbel, offering user-friendly, engaging lessons tailored to fit seamlessly into your daily schedule. If you want something more in-depth, there's a great English course on Coursera that covers everything from the basics to more advanced topics. For a more personalized learning experience, connect with native English tutors on Preply, enhancing your speaking and comprehension skills. Take advantage of a 50% discount on your first Preply session by using this link.

Why the spelling of most English words differ from their sound form?

It is conditioned be the history of the language.

Why is it necessary to read in English in order to write better?

Reading in English you memorize many words and their spelling.

How much time do I need to improve my writing skills?

It depends on how much you are trying, what you are doing and what goal you have.

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