Writing is the oldest form of communication besides talking. It is also the oldest form of recording history. Even with the evolution of technology, writing has never lost its place in the society as the most reliable way to communicate and keep records. It is therefore valid to say that without adequate writing skills, you will struggle to communicate to the masses or even live a normal life. With adequate writing skills, you even have higher chances to get a job than someone else with less writing skills and more qualifications depending on the quality of your curriculum vitae. There are various instances where writing skills are required and these different instances require different approaches. How about we explore some ways to improve your writing skills in different categories? It is way too necessary to learn how to improve writing skills, and especially how to improve English.
Writing official documents
Whatever your profession is, you will at some point be required to write a document, say a report, or a curriculum vitae when applying for a job. The quality of official documents play a big role in your career, you should therefore take them with the highest level of seriousness and do everything you can to improve their quality. The most important thing to remember when writing an official document is to keep your language as formal as possible and avoid irrelevant statements. Here, you seriously need to avoid writing help.
Writing an official report
There are countless instances in countless professions where you will be required to write an official report. When writing these reports whatever the topic may be, you need to stick to the given topic and avoid deviating. You should also keep the report as brief as possible. The longer the report is, the more cumbersome it will be for the reader and the higher its vulnerability to mistakes. You should also try to use a wide vocabulary to avoid exhausting some words, and to make your report appear more professional. Before you submit your report, it is advised that you proofread two or more times.
Writing a Curriculum Vitae
A curriculum vitae is the only image of you that the reader has (mostly). It is therefore more than important to paint a vivid and flawless picture of yourself. Therefore when writing a CV, stress more on your strongest points, for example your qualifications and downplay your weak points, such as inadequate experience. You should also use simple vocabulary, to avoid looking like a show off by using many complex words, some of which may fall out of context. If your CV is handwritten, use a clearly legible and attractive handwriting. If you are writing an electronic CV, then make sure you use official fonts such as Arial. More important to note, do not colour your text in a curriculum vitae or use a double line to underline. It is advised that you bold text instead of underlining it if you are writing an electronic document. If you are writing a handwritten document, then learn different ways on how to improve handwriting, a ruler will also be in order to make your underlining more neat.
Writing an official letter or email
You will also often be required to write official letters in a good number of professions. This may however be replaced by an email in the present day. When writing an official letter, the most important thing to consider is the format. Make sure you follow the correct official letter format, this should always include the salutation. It is also important to note where you are not writing to a particular individual but to the position the person holds, you should avoid addressing the said person as an individual but the office the person holds. For example if you are writing to the general manager, don't address 'Mr/Mrs/Miss xyz', you should address 'The General Manager'. For official purposes, always use 'dear sir/madam' in the salutation as opposed to 'dear sir' or 'dear madam' apart from where you are sure of the addressee's gender. The rules are just about the same for an official email, only without the letter writing format. In both of these, it is vital to keep your letter brief and precise. Avoid any unnecessary additions as these will make your letter look formal. You should however strive to give all the expected information in as few words or statements as possible. The golden rule in all these is to proofread your work as many times as possible to edge out any small mistakes.
Writing an online document
This mode of writing is getting more popular each day, with more blogs, websites and social media accounts coming up each day. Despite the use of technology, more specifically word processors being in use, the primary principles of writing have not changed. If you are writing a post, there are several things you should consider to improve the quality of your work.
Arrange your article in topics
When drafting your article, instead of having one bulky block of words, its more neat to break down your work into headings, subheadings etcetera. This is not just about the physical appearance of the document, but it also helps in the Search Engine Optimization when your document has some key phrases as headings or sub headings. It might also appear cumbersome to a reader to read a block of say five thousand words. Arranging your article in headings and subheadings will help your reader locate the bit of information they are looking for more quickly. Take this article for example, if you are not interested in writing online documents, you don't have to read all the above information which is not relevant to what you are looking for. You should therefore breakdown your information into relevant topics that cover a certain section of your article.
Type first and post later
Apart from social media where the post button is next to the text box, you should type first and post the article later. Sometimes, and the times are many, you miss some mistakes in your article because you are already exhausted from typing the article. It is therefore advisable that you draft your article first, then proofread later before publishing. You should make sure that you are not mentally exhausted when proofreading to avoid overseeing simple mistakes which are often hard to detect.
Use spell checker tool
However eloquent you might be, you will often misspell words. Infact, complex vocabulary is seldom misspelt. The words that seem the easiest such as 'misspell' are at greatest risk of misspelling. You should therefore not ignore the underlined words on your word processor, and when you are done typing, you should use spell checker to see other words you may have overlooked. You should also consider which version of English you are using. British English and American English often have conflicting spellings of a good number of words. You should therefore know the version you are comfortable in and use it constantly. Avoid mixing the two above stated as they will not only confuse your spell checker, but your reader as well.
Use the synonyms provided by your word processor sparingly
It is important to use a wide vocabulary throughout your document, try to keep it within your field of knowledge. If you replace a word with a synonym from your word processor, it might conflict with the particular context you had placed your word in. It is also vital to note that many, or most, words have several meanings, and these synonyms may only cover one meaning, which probably may not be the meaning you intended to use. Worse still, the word may have another meaning which may contradict your statement or even make the word seem out of place.
Writing can also or is also used as a profession on its own. This is done mostly by authors, newspaper article writers, magazine writers and hundreds of other professionals. This category of writing requires you to have a good command of English (or any other language in use) and a considerable level of creativity (even for non-fictional writers). More words are welcome in this category of writing especially for recreational writing. You should therefore not hold back on any ideas and feel free to write
Writing a book
To write a book, you definitely have to be interested in writing (otherwise you will never finish it). Regardless of the type of book you are writing, whether nonfiction or one of the thousands of types of fiction, you need to consider some things as you write. First, arrange your flow of events in chapters or topics. If you wrote a book that flows from the first page to the last, it would not appeal the readers. Separate the different ideas in different topics to make your book easier to peruse and for your readers to keep track of where they reached reading. Second, consider your audience. If you are writing a short story for children, use simple vocabulary that the children will easily understand. You also need to have a logical flow of events.
There are many types of articles. Whichever type though, articles are less formal than books and more often than not concentrate on the writer's opinion. That said, there are a few ways to improve your article writing skills. Before you embark on writing an article, research adequately on the topic. Researching should not however mean copying other writers' works but simply reading widely to get a better idea of what you are writing on. When you are done writing an article, proofread twice before submitting it. You should also get someone else to read it, preferably another writer who might notice some fine mistakes.
General rules to improve any kind of writing
To improve your writing skills, you will need to know how to improve your English. Below are some ways.
This will help you get better ideas when doing your own writing. You should not restrict yourself to only reading articles or books relevant to only the type of writing you are engaging in. Try reading different types of books and articles since this will also improve your vocabulary and show you different writing approaches.
Widen your vocabulary
By reading widely, try using new words in your writing to give your work a fresher feel. You should however be very careful with new words and make sure that you know their meanings before you use them. You should also try to use synonyms to avoid repeating some words severally in your writing. Try to decorate your vocabulary with relevant figures of speech here and there. You should however restrict the use of these and focus more on putting your message across.
Keep it simple
Unless you are drafting the constitution or writing to the Queen's council, avoid using too many big words at the same time to put a simple message across. For example, I have a friend who would write the above statement this way
'In promulgating your esoteric cogitations or
Articulating your superficial sentimentalities,
And amicable philosophical or psychological
Observations, beware of platitudinous
Ponderosa. Let your conversational
Communications possess a compacted
Conciseness, a clarified comprehensibility, a
Coalescent cogency, and a concatenated
Consistency. Eschew obfuscation and all
Conglomerations of flatulent garrulity, jejune
Rabblement, and asinine affectations. Let your
Extemporaneous descanting and
Unpremeditated expatiations have
Intelligibility and voracious vivacity without
Rodomontade or thrasonical bombast.
Sedulously avoid all polysyllabic profundity,
Pompous prolificacy, and vain vapid verbosity'
He simply means 'don't use too many big words to communicate, keep your statements brief. Depending on your audience, minimize such words to reach a bigger audience.
Whichever type of writing you are planning to do, mistakes are not expected. You should therefore always make sure that you work has little if not no mistakes. You should proofread twice or more times before submitting. If possible, have someone else proofread the document for you. Two pairs of eyes are better than one.
Share your work
Give your work to people you consider better writers for criticism and approval. Such people may also help you by giving you directions and new writing methods, they may also guide you through your mistakes and how to avoid them in future. Something tells me that it would be a really good way to follow this guide on how to improve you writing.