5 Tips for Boosting Your Writing Style
Improving speaking skills in English is most people’s top priority, as everybody wishes to speak effortlessly and sound more native-like. But once they start taking classes at a school for English, they soon notice other important aspects of the language. They may realize they can't express themselves in writing eloquently or that they’re struggling with spelling. This may be the case with you too. So what can you do?
Well, nothing except practice. Arm yourself with patience because this may take a lot of time. To motivate you to work hard on enhancing your writing skills, in this blog post, we’ll explain what a good writing style is and how to polish your own. Read on!
What is a good writing style?
A writing style is like a fingerprint: everyone writes in their own way. While this uniqueness is of crucial importance, there is one essential standard that writers with a good style follow. It is readability.
How readable a passage is depends on the writer's use of words, phrases, sentence structures, and the length of sentences and paragraphs. For instance, the longer the sentence is, the more difficult it’ll be to comprehend it. The reader can easily get lost in the abundance of unnecessary adjectives or dependent clauses.
Readability is also connected with the writer's choice of words and phrases. Ideally, a text should stir interest or spark off the reader's imagination. Or, if the article is specialized, it should provide concise and logical information avoiding ambiguities.
The transition between ideas is significant too. A readable passage does not jump from one idea to the other. Instead, it introduces them naturally.
How to improve your writing style
Now that you know what an elegant writing style is, let’s see how you can make your own stand out from the crowd. Here are a few useful tips:
- Use active voice instead of passive. While passive voice is grammatically correct, it can influence the tone of your writing significantly. It can make it less readable as it is usually wordier. It can also weaken your sentences, making your subjects inactive and uninteresting.
- Begin most of your sentences with a subject to make them clear and straightforward. You can also begin your sentences with dependent clauses or prepositional phrases. But be careful not to overdo it, as it can slow down the flow of your ideas.
- Be economical with words. Wordy sentences with cliches and empty words (generally, basically, etc.) can tire readers who’ll lose the thread of your thoughts. To keep your sentences effective, avoid using too many dependent clauses. A long string of adjectives is also unnecessary as this only makes your ideas drag along, and your readers may lose interest.
- Make your paragraphs short and coherent. Overtly long paragraphs with too many ideas are difficult to digest. So, keep your paragraphs short, and stick to one main idea per paragraph. You can add other supporting ideas, but only to further elaborate on your main one.
- Don’t repeat yourself. Avoid using the same words and phrases close to each other. Instead, try using synonyms, and if you can’t think of any, you can always resort to a thesaurus.
Honing your writing skills requires a lot of dedication. Don’t get discouraged if you don’t see any progress straight away. Take your time and review and edit your writing. This way, you’ll notice your mistakes and constantly work on your style.
Use dictionaries if you struggle with some expressions, and ask friends to read your work. They might notice something you haven’t. And, finally, read a lot and pay attention to other writers' styles. This doesn’t mean you should imitate them. Use their work as inspiration to create your own writing style.
California's favorite school for learning the English language
Are you looking for a school where you can perfect your English writing skills? Well, the College of English Language is your obvious choice. Our experienced native teachers use proven teaching methods, such as storytelling, which will take your writing style to the next level. You will master your speaking, reading, and listening skills too, as we apply a well-balanced teaching approach that focuses on all your English skills equally.
On top of that, you’ll meet people from all over the world in our well-equipped classrooms in San Diego, Pacific Beach, and Santa Monica in the vicinity of Santa Monica Boulevard. So, what are you waiting for? Let's learn English together!