// 4 Tips to Improve Your English Writing
by Linjie, 17th December 2015
Do You Find Writing In English Is Difficult? Yes, English Is Difficult. It Is An Exotic Land Of Words.
However, we need these words to find jobs, to speak to people. That is, to communicate.
Before you criticise yourself, be proud of what you have achieved with English: learning the language since your youth, living in a new country and pursing a degree in the UK.
When you read a book written in your mother tongue, you are on a familiar journey. The road may be straight or winding, but it is always safe enough for you to walk on, pace about, or even run only to reach the other end safely. In a second language, you don’t have too many choices, your body becomes tense, your eyes wider because sometimes there is no path, just a tight rope. You strain and watch every single step just to stay with the story. You don’t want to fall; you want to be held.
So, here are some tips for you to write in English as your second, third or fourth language:
1. Find Muses in Great Writing
–– Read and read a lot. Throughout the history of English literature, we have seen a great many classic and contemporary writers using English as a second language such as Joseph Conrad, Vladimir Nabokov, and Olga Grushin. Reading will help strengthen your grammar and diversify your sentence structure. More importantly, you will be inspired.
2. Keep It Short
–– Being able to express a lot in a few words is greatly valued in English. Writing styles and languages change over time. Modern English writing is less “flowery” with an emphasis on being concise. Nowadays, the most highly rated writers tend to be the ones who write short sentences and find strength in a clear structure. You can use the Hemingway App to have your text assessed for its readability. This useful app highlights sentences that are too long and complex as well as common errors.
3. Keep It Clear
–– Here is an interesting fact: the number of words in the English language is: 1,025,109.8, estimated by the Global Language Monitor! It is a language that is full of subtle nuances. As posed in Simply English: An A-Z of Avoidable Errors by Simon Heffer: What is the difference between amending and emend, between imply and infer, and between uninterested and disinterested? Try to understand which word you can use and when. Or, start by reading the book.
4. Keep It Direct
–– It could be very different from your mother tongue: being direct is appreciated in English. So talk about a subject directly, not talking around a subject. Use action verbs to say it straight, cut to the chase. Avoid passive voice mistakes. For example: “I threw an apple to Mary” is much easier to understand than “An apple was thrown to Mary by me.” Still confused? Check out this site to learn more about active verbs and passive verbs.
Finally, believe in yourself. Throw away your fears and work on the craft of English writing. After all, you are already a traveller in a different world of words!