English Writing Tips
I love writing. I think writing is fun and relaxing! But, getting your ideas into words that sound good written down can sometimes be tricky. Even very strong English speakers have trouble writing at the same level. One of the biggest problems with writing is that it is not something you can actively practice in the classroom, so you need to do lots of practice at home. Here are some ideas for improving your English writing at home.
1. Make it Fun
If writing is not fun, you probably won’t do it, right? So, find ways to make it fun, here are a few ideas:
Your writing doesn’t always have to be perfect. If you are just starting, or just need a break, write for fun and don’t worry about correcting your spelling or grammar.
2. Read it out loud
I am a native English speaker and this is one of the best ways I improve my own writing! We think differently in our heads than we speak or write. Once you are finished writing a draft, read the entire thing out loud. Your family or roommates might think you are crazy but it will help your writing a lot!
If you find a sentence that doesn’t sound right when you read it out loud it probably isn’t! Try to fix it, and keep reading it out loud until it sounds better to you.
3. Find a writing buddy
Do you have a friend who is at the same level of English as you are? It doesn’t matter if they live in the same city as you, ask them if they want to be your writing buddy (friend). Make a plan together: maybe that you will both write for 30 minutes every week. If you do live in the same city, maybe you can go to a café together while you write. After, give them your piece to read and take theirs to read.
Not only is this a great way to get feedback on your writing from someone new, but reading what someone else wrote and looking for mistakes or ways to make it better will help you to think more when you are writing.
Exercises for Writing Skills
One of the best things you can do to improve your writing is just…write! Sometimes though, it’s good too to use resources or games to help you.
- Grammarly is a web browser extension.
- Good for all levels.
It helps you find mistakes in your writing like the wrong spelling or a bad or missing comma. Grammarly does more than that though, it can also tell you if a sentence isn’t very good and can give you ideas of better ways to write it.
- Sentence sense is an online platform with games and information.
- Good for upper-intermediate or advanced.
Sentence sense takes what you know about English and writing and makes you think about it differently. The website brings you through levels and gives you games to play with sentences. It will make you think about words differently.
The Elements of Style is the most popular book for English writers.
It is good for intermediate to advanced.
This book has great information on very basic writing questions. If you are not sure about commas, colons, or other punctuation, this book can help you understand it. It can also guide you through more advanced writing ideas and questions.
- Read Write Think has interactive activities.
- It is aimed at all levels of young learners but the high school activities can be good for adults too.
This website does a lot! You can have help mapping out an essay you want to write, or you can help your child recognize the letters of the alphabet. There are resources for writing poetry, academic prose, and more.
How Lessons Can Help Your Writing
Like I said at the beginning, a lot of your writing practice will need to be done on your own at home. We don’t want to sit and stare at you for an hour while you are writing. That does not mean though that we can’t support you with your writing! During classes we can do games and activities which will encourage you to think differently about words and sentences. We can also read your writing before class and go over it together.
How is your writing? Do you have questions for us? Or ideas you want to share with other students? Let us know how your English writing is go in the comments below!