Be it a blog post, Facebook post, office letter, a report, school examination or writing answers for UPSC mains, all these have one thing in common, and that is writing. Yes, writing. You are writing and someone is reading. That’s the way it goes. Yes, you all write and read a lot. People spend most of their time in reading, to get knowledge and information. Improving your writing skills is necessary if you want to excel in communication and want your message to get through.
Reading and writing goes hand in hand. Be it instructions for your latest gadget or the news, views and reviews. We all read a lot. Improving writing skills in a practical and workable manner pays a lot in the future. It is a skill, so nurture it and train yourself, because what you’ll be writing, will be read even when you are not there. It is also a form of communication and one of the most important form. Leave no stone unturned and fire all boosters to get to the next level.
Do you know that writing is also a part of your personality! Rather a very powerful part. Why? Because whatever you write is an extension of your thoughts, understanding and opinions. It’s one of the ways you communicate with the world.
Improvement in writing skills reflects your clarity of mind and thought. If you are a student, then obviously marks are the main motivation for you. But for others, there are all the more important things. In office setup, clear and polished language often creates a powerful impact. Your peers will take you more seriously and you’ll also feel good inside.
Your writing reflects your personality it represents who you are. It shows your intelligence and your expertise with language. Your written word will remain forever, I know even Facebook will be keeping the records. So let it be in-style.
Workable Tips to Improve Your Writing Skills
Define the Agenda/ Purpose of Writing
You must be very clear in your head regarding the purpose of your writing. A leave application should not have a medium to high difficulty language vocabulary, while if you are writing a presentation and wants to flatter your bosses, then the use of high sounding words are the right recipe for you.
Write a Draft
Develop a habit and patience to write a draft. Like your school teacher used to say in primary classes to write something in the rough and then correct it before copying it into a home-work notebook. Similarly, write a draft and proof-read it. You’ll be surprised to see that you yourself will be improving it with many new additions and replacements. You’ll surely discover the editor in you.
Develop a Structure
Don’t just scribble around. You want to write, that means you want to convey something. It could be an idea, an opinion, order, some information or maybe just plain record keeping. We do not just write keywords or write the parts of the story as we remember. Give structure to your writing. Decide what elements and ideas should come first and what to follow later. If it is an exam essay then start with an introduction highlighting what you wish to convey and kind of synopsis, then in the body buildup the case as per your need and then close it effectively by summarizing it. Similarly in formal letters first, tell about your relationship with the organisation and your designation then what you wish and any reasons if any. After that end, it on a polite note and also list any enclosures or attachments. There is a spate article on rules of Email writing.
Use Simple English
Yes, in order to impress, don’t overdo and stress out. Keep it simple. Remember that you want to convey something. Use those words which are commonly in use. By simple I do not mean school kid level, remember the language tests you took before the job? Yes, that is the simple level for you. What? Don’t be overly simplistic, remember relativity, what is simple for you is not simple for a four-year-old.
Use Words Smartly
Good writing is a reward for a writer and a treat for a reader. Be your own editor. Replace overuse of words and any excessive usage with better and efficient use of vocabulary. The idea is to use fewer words in an efficient manner. For example, refer to the table given below:
|Instead of “Common Usage” words, use the “Replacements”|
|A very short period of time||Brief|
Know Your Audience
Who are your intended readers and what is your objective? This helps you to decide the tone and the level of your vocabulary usage. If it is for kids you can use “dancing around to impress’, but for adults, “prancing” will be a good usage. If it is a legal document where each written word can be legally interpreted, usage of emotional words often comes down to zero.
Be Just, Don’t Go Beyond Victory
When you have explained or highlighted your case, don’t reframe in other words, it will not just bore your audience but will also waste your attempt. Don’t over-explain. It is counter-productive.
Punctuation is the Key
Brush up your grammar and make sure that there are no spelling errors and punctuation mistakes. You don’t have to be Shakespeare, just use the words to serve your purpose rather than to show-off. Though usage of a little higher vocabulary is good but not beyond a certain level. Maybe one to two difficult words per paragraph but strictly not more than that.
Yes, just like in gym you do reps and sets and build your goddamned muscles, here also you are needed to do those reps and sets to build your writing skills. Remember, it is a skill. This means it can be learnt, improved and cultivated.
Read the writings of other people. Read as much as you can. Reading broadens your horizon and scope of thinking. It also gives you a buffet of ideas and a variety of writing styles. Soon you’ll develop your own writing style.
Writing is one of the powerful ways to convey your message. It is an art in itself. And remember, every art can be mastered by practice along with a plan to achieve your desired results.
I hope that this article – ‘Improve Your Writing Skills: Make an Impression With These Workable Tips‘ has helped you and has given you enough reasons to work on your writing skills.
If you have any suggestions or want to add more tips and tricks, then do share and enlighten me.