How To Become A Better Writer
Whether you’re wanting to improve your writing for academic purposes, or you’re an aspiring writer, there are plenty of ways to refine your writing and become a better writer.
Many job specifications require good to excellent written communication; applying for jobs will also be endlessly easier when your writing is polished.
Of course acting upon lecturers’ notes on your writing is essential in improving your writing. This, however, isn’t the only way to become a better writer.
The benefits of good writing are plentiful, so here are a few tips to make you the next Shakespeare… Or at least help you score well in the written assessment part of an essay.
Read lots of books
Reading lots of books can only be beneficial for those wanting to improve their writing. Reading means seeing grammar rules put into place; it means understanding how they can be manipulated.
It even means, upon spotting a typo or a mistake, seeing how they can be accidentally broken or even intentionally broken. Reading means exploring voice, structure and words and, ultimately, broadening your knowledge of a language.
Mike Hanski explains how reading more books both helps one to become a better academic writer and also a writer for pleasure. In terms of becoming better at writing for academic purposes, he explains that reading will expand a reader’s vocabulary. Your essay writing will become more sophisticated and succinct with a back catalogue of vocab behind you.
Often examiners are looking for concise writing. If you develop your vocabulary through reading you may use only one word to describe a thought sufficiently, whereas others may use a whole sentence.
Hanski explains that reading will help an aspiring writer “learn your genre better.” You’re reading a book where someone has already successfully written for a particular genre. Your writing style will improve once you delve into other writers’ styles.
Learn a new word a day
No one person knows all of the words in the world; no one could ever possibly know all of the words in the world. You can, however, give it a go. By learning a new word a day and, in turn, putting it into use, your vocabulary will keep increasing. This way your writing can become more varied and more interesting.
Learn foreign words that express a thought or feeling that your own language cannot. Learn big words and small words and new phrases too. Learning a new word gives you the challenge of trying to use it; whether that be while talking or writing. Soon enough, these words will become part of your vocabulary and part of your new and improved writing.
Practice makes perfect. Writing frequently─even when it feels like the product sucks─is a really good idea. Sometimes just one awesome sentence or idea could come out of a daily writing session and it will feel completely worth it. Chris Reid from Constant Content explains that writing every day clears your mind, eliminates writer’s block and sharpens your writing skills.
Reid claims, “the ability to communicate clearly and effectively deteriorates without practice.” For this reason, writing good essays takes practice and therefore you shouldn’t try and write every essay the night before. There are many reasons for this but being out of practice could lead to unpolished work.
As a wannabe writer, writing every day─whether that’s 100 or 1,000 words─will make writing a habit. Your work will only improve when writing is part of your daily routine.
To conclude, becoming a better writer can be beneficial academically as well as for your career and your personal life. Improving your writing will make you an overall better communicator and a better thinker. It’ll make essays feel more manageable, your creative writing flow easier and even make complaint emails more effective! Improving your writing really can prove to be worthwhile.
Kathryn─known as Kat even though she prefers Kath─studied English Language at Cardiff University and now wants to finally write that book she’s always been meaning to write. Check out her Twitter, Instagram and blog to delve into her mind further.