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Better Writing: Simple Tips to Improve Writing Skills

Updated on June 24, 2017

Introduction

Here are some quick and easy tips to improve writing skills and become a better writer. By no means is this article meant to replace or substitute an English or grammar class. The goal of this article is to help boost writing quality and user engagement by following a few simple rules. Fix spelling and grammar mistakes, focus on the reader use a personal sincere attitude with active verbs and subjects to name few.

Improve writing skills with spelling and grammar

Spelling is the most important, NO ONE wants to read an article full of spelling mistakes. Spelling mistakes distract the reader and you will lose their focus. A reader visits your article and they are looking for information, give it to them, just use a spell checker to correct your work. Spelling tops the list for better writing.

Writing in your native tongue is usually best. For instance, many people try to write articles in English. Unfortunately English is not their natural language. The English language is complex, there are many rules and variables. The same word or phrase can mean many things and it all depends on the context you are using the phrase in. If you are not fluent in the language you are trying to write your article in, it shows by the choppy and incomplete sentences that do not follow through. Writers like this often miss verbs, nouns, and adjectives that describe the writers thought and it leaves the reader wondering. This is what's considered bad grammar and another easy way to lose a reader.

The Grammarly App is a great way to improve writing skills. This service has a free and paid version. The free version will check for common spelling and grammar mistakes, if it finds an error, the application will tell you and suggest a fix. Grammarly is available as an online tool or browser extension. Better writing consists of full sentences that use subjects, verbs, nouns, adjectives, and punctuation properly. Check out Grammarly and fix those common mistakes before you lose readers.


Better writing focuses on the reader.

The reader is the most important subject. Are you addressing their problem? The reader came to get specific information, can they find it easily? Provide the information they are looking for quickly and completely. Avoid filler and unnecessary words, they only complicate things. You should deliver the information they want. Deliver it quickly and in a way that they understand.

Use pronouns to address your reader directly. Pronouns like You, your, and yours address the reader. Avoid the pronouns about you, I, my, or mine. The reader wants to solve a problem, not hear about yours. You need to stress the information that is most valuable to them, and then repeat it at the end.

A personal voice to improve writing.

A personal voice adds character to the article. Personalize your text with personal experiences and facts the reader can relate too. Better writing samples include a factual personalized tone. Facts and references are important, they add quality to your article. Offer the facts in your own voice, the reader doesn’t want to hear the same opinions of others over and over.

A personal voice on the subject, coupled with facts, engages the reader. It gives the reader something to relate too in terms they understand. A personal voice displays critical thinking and is crucial in communicating your message to the reader. Building a personal voice will absolutely help improve writing skills. In short using a personal voice means: To use your own thoughts, experiences, and critical view of the topic and research material available.

Improve writing skills with active verbs.

An active or action verb describes what the subject of our sentence is doing. A passive verb describes what a 3rd party is doing to our sentence subject. Using active verbs is a clear sign of better writing. Clear and concise, straight to the point is the key. Using extra words to fluff your article is the fastest way to lose the attention of your reader.

An active sentence clearly states the action and who or what performs the action. An active sentence would be “Laura washed her car.” The subject “Laura” performed an action “washed her car”. That same sentence written passively would be “The car was being washed by Laura”. In this case, the subject “The car” had an action performed by another person “Laura”. For better writing you want the subject of your sentence “Laura” to perform the action “wash the car”. This tip with active and passive voice is where most writers fail and need to improve writing skills.

Better writing requires a positive and sincere attitude.

An active or action verb describes what the subject of our sentence is doing. A passive verb describes what a 3rd party is doing to our sentence subject. Using active verbs is a clear sign of better writing. Clear and concise, straight to the point is the key to keeping your reader interested. Using extra words to fluff your article is the fastest way to lose your reader.

An active sentence clearly states the action and who or what performs the action. An active sentence would be “Laura washed her car.” The subject “Laura” performed an action “washed her car”. That same sentence written passively would be “The car was being washed by Laura”. In this case, the subject “The car” had an action performed by it by “Laura”. For better writing you want the subject of your sentence “Laura” to perform the action “wash the car”. This tip with active and passive voice is where most writers fail and need to improve writing skills.

The MOST important step to improve writing skills.

This is important before you submit the article for online publication.

  1. Check the article in a spelling and grammar checker. Fix errors.
  2. Read the article and fix any errors you find.
  3. Run the article through the spelling and grammar checker.
  4. Read the article out loud and listen for things that just don’t sound quite right. Fix these things.
  5. Return to step 1 until you can do this process 3 times without having to fix anything.
  6. Take a 1 to 2-day break and return to step 1 until all issues are resolved.
  7. If you are absolutely sure, submit the article.

*** Quick Note:

An apology if you came here to learn a better writing style if your topic is politics.

Politics seems to be the exception to keeping people engaged and interacting. I sincerely wish, sincerely I do. I wish people who wrote about politics followed some of the simpler things to improve writing skills. Using citations, for instance, picking some random news article that doesn’t cite its sources doesn’t count. The sources should also not be easily rebutted. Apparently keeping an engaged audience in politics requires the ability to say just about anything as long as it sounds good. There is an extra point if it's dramatic, 2 points if it’s really dramatic. The goal there appears to find someone willing to bicker back and forth with and keep up the interaction.

I have to be honest, it works. Watching spelling and grammar fly out the window as the conversation heats up, it’s intense! People get passionately involved! Just sitting here with my popcorn waiting for someone to BUST SOME CAPS!!! Let’s get this party started! There is no debate, just a flame war. Some people love the drama, it’s silly but entertaining. That’s why it works.

All feedback is appreciated

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    • SSS1942 profile image

      Joyonto 8 weeks ago from Bangladesh

      Thank you for this nice guideline.

    • DuckHatch profile image

      Drake Runner 8 weeks ago from Virginia

      "Egg"cellent article. Thanks for the tips!

    • jrk1121 profile image
      Author

      James Kenny 8 weeks ago from Virginia

      Thank you, Emily, I can only hope I reach your level of wordsmithing one day. No, I am a programmer with a strong SEO background. Writing is not usually what I do. But I see the question of "how to improve articles and writing" all the time. I wanted to share my knowledge.

    • ml33 profile image

      Emily Lantry 8 weeks ago from Tennessee

      great article! It looks like you hit all the key points to good writing! Are you new here to hubpages? It looks like you have some experience writing elsewhere?