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In the beginning of a language-learning journey, writing is quite easy. Textbooks and online resources alike encourage us to start with simple phrases: my name ismy hobbies are… and so forth. But overtime, grammar, vocabulary, pronunciation, and conversation tend to take over. Eventually, opportunities to practice free-hand writing, especially for self-directed learners, become harder to come by.

And as with anything – the less we do something, the less likely we are to improve. So the longer you go without writing, the longer it will take you to become a better writer. Below are some tips to add writing to your everyday English practice.

A sentence a day: Spend 5 minutes writing 5 sentences every day. You can write about anything, from describing your surroundings to describing your day. Look up any vocabulary you’re not sure about.
Read and summarize: Read as often as possible: it will improve your vocabulary and your grammar. Then, summarize what you have learned.
Complete prompts: Search for writing prompts (i.e. “100 things to write about”), or head over to our Writing Center. The key is to practice as much as possible.
Revise and edit: Walk away from what you are writing – breathe, take a walk, drink some coffee – then sit back down and look over your writing with fresh eyes. Rotate between grammar, content and flow.

Grammar: read aloud to catch spelling or grammar mistakes. Spellcheckers also help!

Content: revise run-on sentences, consult a thesaurus for word-choice ideas, and expand any missing details.

Flow: double-check the steps on writing effectively, rearrange sentences and paragraphs if the flow seems off.

Ask for Feedback: Tutors, penpals, or colleagues can offer you a fresh perspective on your writing. Ask their opinion or join a workshop to improve your writing.

Practice

  • Write two additional tips on how to become a better writer.