Entering the world of writing with your first literary piece of writing can be a good first step, but without proper guidance and without writing in the correct order it can become a complicated task that you probably just abandoned. The keys so that you can finish your writing and that this is a success are: choose a good theme, that you have a lot of perseverance, patience, that you also have a personal writing style and that you follow the steps that we will indicate below. After reading this article you won’t be asking your friends around to “write paper for me”. Here in this article we will provide you with some of the best writing tips to enhance your writing skills and will also teach you how to write better.
What do you know about writing?
We cannot sit in front of our computer to write without being very clear about what this “skilled writing” consists of. For example, if we talk about an essay it is a prose written text that tries to analyze and interpret ideas related to a topic. It basically aims to give a solid argument to a specific idea or topic. It must be structured in three parts:
- Introduction: it is intended to give the reader a global idea of the topic that will be developed throughout the entire text.
- Development: during development, it is a question of arguing the main idea, the hypothesis proposed by the author is explained in detail, as well as compelling arguments on which to base the final conclusion.
- Conclusion: it is the last part of literary writing; it must be brief and extract the essential information that leads to the solutions of the various hypotheses that have been given throughout the text.
Pick a topic
Obviously, you need to think about a topic to discuss in your literary writing. You should try to find a topic that may be interesting to your readers and on which you have a well-formed opinion since this will make it much easier to organize your ideas. Self-help trials are very successful today, it can be a good idea to make one. Still have confusion about how to write better. Keep reading and you will find some more interesting facts that will explain to you how to write well.
When choosing your topic do not be overwhelmed if you think it has many different points that can be tried to analyze. Within the theme that you have chosen, you should focus your attention only on a part of it and if you need it you can cover more as a support to achieve more solid arguments, in this way you will be able to deepen more on a specific issue without going through the branches, writing a text of much more quality and value for the reader.
Research your topic in-depth
You need to be an expert on the subject you are going to discuss, you must investigate it thoroughly. This is the most complicated part, but it can be very fun. The longer you dedicate better ideas and analysis you will do on paper. It is recommended that you read a lot about the subject, that you read other writings of other people, that you carry out experiments if necessary, etc. All the information you get to absorb on the subject of your literary writing will be positive and will help you do a better literary work.
Organize your ideas
During the investigation, it is a good time to organize the ideas that we are going to deal with, with the aim of presenting them in a well-structured way and following a certain logic, in such a way that it facilitates reading and understanding. One method that usually works very well is that, at first, do an exercise in brainstorming or brainstorm, writing on a paper a list as long as possible of ideas that arise, without thinking too much if they are good or bad.
Also read: What is a Thesis Statement? Introduction and Examples
In a separate paper, you should try to make a schematic organization of how to raise the literary writing and whenever possible you will extract ideas from the brainstorming and cross them out of the initial list. Surely it is something that is hard for you to believe, but when you manage to finalize your organization of ideas and have established a clear plotline, you will have taken a great step, moving forward a lot in the work. This is the process on how to get better at writing.
Write the introduction
It does not need to be a very long introduction, but it must have a hook, keep in mind that it is the first thing that the reader is going to read and if he does not like what he finds, he may not continue reading what you have written. In your writing of the introduction, use short sentences and present the topic to be treated as clearly as possible. You must also convey those arguments that you are going to deal with and the positions that you are going to defend, raise hypotheses, etc. Don’t count too many things, but count enough for the reader to feel like reading more.
If you have a good capacity for self-criticism, you can try to read the introduction when you finish it and ask yourself if you would continue reading always analyzing why it would lead you to continue reading. So, you can try to help yourself detect if the introduction needs improvement.
Write the development
This is the most important and most difficult part to write. You should develop the issue in detail, presenting hypotheses and arguments for or against, so that the conclusions you draw later make sense. You have to try to be persuasive and win the reader, you must get a reaction from him and for that, you must explain each argument very clearly, following logical reasoning that can be demonstrated.
Write the conclusion
The conclusion should summarize all of the above and extract the result from everything you have stated, it should be as concise as possible. Do not write a conclusion too long, with two or three paragraphs is enough.
Check and correct
Review and correct your text as many times as necessary. Many times, you will have to rewrite certain parts of the text, but it is necessary and that all writers do. First, you should write the text on paper, and a very ingenious idea is to make that paper you use yourself and thus do a recycling job. A good idea is to leave your text to someone you trust to read it and help you determine if everything you are trying to convey reaches the reader the way you expect it to.
How to write better
Facing a blank sheet is not always an easy task. On many occasions, for lack of inspiration or desire, it is tedious to chain words, sentences, and paragraphs. For this reason, it is necessary to resort to small “tricks” that can help us when writing. As is evident, time and dedication are required for this, as this is just a roadmap that compiles, with the experience of the writer, some useful tips to improve the writing. These tips could be summarized as follows:
1. TAKE CARE OF THE SYNTAX
The way we express ourselves is largely determined by the syntactic periods we use. Therefore, the first thing to pay attention to is the length of the sentences. A complex and convoluted syntax makes it difficult to read any text. That is, the ideal would be that the sentences were not composed of more than two or three subordinates. It is also necessary to pay attention to the subsections and appositions of the subjects; on many occasions, although we think that we are giving more information – and, therefore, helping the reader understand the text – we are actually getting the opposite.
2. THINK OF THE READER
When we write an email or a letter, the first thing we think about is the recipient. The same must happen with the texts: it is not the same to address a specialized public than the general public. For example, in this article, I have allowed myself the license to use the so-called «plural of modesty», in order to involve the interlocutor in the statements he may be making. Also, thinking about the reader implies taking care of the record; writing an article for a video game magazine is not the same as writing an essay on Aristotelian metaphysics.
3. MONITOR THE EXTERNAL STRUCTURE
Each wording requires a very different type of external structure. For example, a newspaper article will have greater paragraph division than an essay or thesis for reasons of space. In general, if it is an essay, it would be normal for each sheet to consist of a maximum of three paragraphs. It is estimated that each paragraph should have between one hundred and one hundred and fifty words. In other types of writing, it is advised that the paragraphs be shorter and more concise. It depends, therefore, on the support and the type of document to be written.
4. PAY ATTENTION TO THE INTERNAL STRUCTURE
The paragraph-idea association sums up perfectly what concerns the internal structure. In addition, the first sentence of each paragraph must specify what will be addressed in the following lines. Remember the second premise: think of the reader. What we want to communicate can be perfectly structured in our minds, but that idea must be embodied in a paper and must be understood identically or similarly to how we understand it.
5. KNOW THE MECHANISMS OF COHERENCE AND COHESION
First of all, think about things to write about. Come up with an interesting topic so that you can grab the attention of your readers. It is important to note that a text must be well cohesive and coherent. And this is achieved thanks to the connectors and discursive markers and the use of anaphora, catastrophe and deictic. In addition, it must present a certain thematic progression, so that what is told is – as mentioned – coherent. For this reason, it is sometimes necessary to use a piece of paper and translate ideas, make schemes or brainstorm. In this way, the text is articulated according to a scheme, so that the foundations will be stronger than if we give wings to our mind and let it write for us. You can also go through some creative writing exercises to get your writing skills more sharpen.
6. HAVE SOME BASIC SPELLING NOTIONS
Good writing cannot have misspellings. Although it is thought that who will read the text will not realize, the truth is that the spelling is like a cover letter. We must not neglect the fact that the wording, in most cases, bears our name. We all slip into a typo – in most cases, for not checking it – or we have lapsus calami. But this does not give way to not pay attention to spelling.
Also read: How To Write Just About Anything You Want
7. REVIEW THE TEXT AND LEAVE IT “FALLOW”
As we mentioned in the previous point, on many occasions we forget that our text contains a typo or lack of spelling for not checking it. And not only is it necessary to review it but, if possible, it is better for someone else to do it. By the very inertia of having written it, we can pass by one of these stains of our writing. In addition, it is important to let the text stand for as long as necessary, because, after a few days or a few weeks, we may think that what is written here could be better. It usually happens like this; Anyway, if we are in a hurry, it is best to ask someone to read it to find out if there is an error.
8. USE SYNONYMS
For different reasons, when writing a text, we may be obsessing with certain words and that, without realizing it, we are using them excessively. This has an easy solution and goes through the previous point; Only by reviewing it and reading it a few days later can we realize what words were repeated. It is clear that, if we talk about the laws of thermodynamics, the words law of thermodynamics appears several times. For this reason, in case of not being able to replace them with synonyms, it will be necessary to resort to anaphora or catastrophe.
9. Read what others are writing
The best way to learn to write is by reading. If we want to write an essay, we will have to read essays; If it is a newspaper article, the same. That is, you have to look at what are the elements that make up this type of documents since each requires a specific structure. For example, in the final projects, theses or thesis, it is essential that a summary or abstract, an introduction and a conclusion, bibliographic references, etc. appear.
10. TAKE CARE OF THE “OUTSIDE” ELEMENTS OF THE TEXT
Beyond the content of the text is also its presentation. A text that appears without justification, with Comic Sans and everything in bold, will hardly be, at first glance, pleasant to read. Therefore, not everything is content; I do not speak only of the form – of which we have already spoken in point 3 – but of how a text is presented. And so, you also have to take into account spelling, an element that is often overlooked. This concern, verbigeration, the use of round, bold or italic when necessary, font styles, text citations or subscripts and superscripts.
5 Bonus tips to sharpen your writing skills
You should know that when you write, you should not only look at the final product but in the process, you use to reach that product (paragraph, essay, article, etc.). There are many aspects that influence the development of writing ability: the correct spelling of words, the grammar, and syntax of sentences (knowing in what order the words are written in a sentence, subject-verb – complement), and how the style of the message varies according to the circumstances. Creative writing exercises are very important and they can help you with a wide variety of interesting aspects.
Remember that the aspects mentioned above are important, but the key to getting good writing in English is to make a constant self-review process while building your article or paragraph. To improve writing skills, it is essential that you read enough, so you will have more vocabulary, expressions and connectors to produce interesting articles and paragraphs with more natural English. Here are the steps you can take to improve:
- Draw a picture and write a topic you want to talk about. For example, pollution in big cities. And below it, write possible words related to the topic. If you don’t know them in English, remember to go to the dictionary. For example, pollution-pollution, environment-environment, factories-factories, etc. This exercise will serve as a brainstorm to better understand what approach you want to give the subject.
- Write your first draft. Write all your ideas even if you think there is no cohesion between them, do not worry, when you finish you can review it and delete the ideas that do not fit your theme.
- After writing your first draft, review it in terms of content, grammar, and spelling. Remember to ask for the opinion of another English learner or speaker, so you can discover mistakes you have not seen.
- After you underline all your mistakes, you can write them on another sheet under the title “Error box”, and so you will easily remember them so as not to commit them again in future writings.
- Write your final draft and review it again. If you are still not happy with the result, rewrite another draft.
Remember if you are writing an academic article, you may need between three and four drafts to get the result you want. Don’t forget that new technologies allow us to share with other native learners and speakers, use them to show your interesting articles to others and receive review comments. You can also participate in forums to solve your grammatical questions, vocabulary, etc.
In short, writing any text is not a simple task. Its main difficulty lies in the guidelines that have been assumed when writing or typing. If these ten ideas that have been outlined were assimilated, the results would be more than decent. Although it is not simple at all, it implies spending a lot of time on a job that, mainly, we must like. Nor is it necessary to devour style or spelling manuals to write – although, without a doubt, it can help greatly – but it is necessary, above all, to have some interest in the language in which we are going to write.