How to Improve Your Writing Skills

Everyone writes. Whether you’re sending your mom a text message, an email to your professor, or a letter to your boss, writing is an essential, everyday skill to learn. Here are seven tips to help you become a better writer.

1) Have a Strong Beginning

First impressions matter. This holds true in writing as well. You have one chance to hook your reader—that’s why having a strong beginning is critical for better writing. Don’t ramble. Let your readers know what you’re writing about right away. If you don’t, you risk your readers moving on to something else.

2) Be True to Yourself

The best writing is produced when you’re writing for yourself. In other words, be honest and don’t write solely to impress others. Writing is its most effective when you write honestly about what you think and what you believe. Write earnestly, and your readers will appreciate it.

3) Know Your Audience

You can be true to yourself and write honestly, but knowing how to write better means knowing your audience. For example, if you’re writing an email to your professor requesting an extension for a deadline, you might want to avoid slang and any informal phrases. Before you start writing, it’s a good idea to ask yourself, “who is my intended audience and what is the purpose in writing this?”

4) Use Direct Language

When it comes to effective writing, conciseness is key. Your readers might not follow along if you use unnecessary and empty words. Instead, be direct. If you can use fewer words to convey a message, then do so. The rule of thumb is that the shorter the sentence, the better. However, keep in mind that varying sentence length is important.

5) Show, Don’t Tell

There’s one exception to the rule of using fewer words, and that’s when it comes to showing, not telling. “Show, don’t tell” is a timeless piece of advice that has been passed down by the best writers when sharing their writing tips. What this means is to use descriptive words so that your readers can see, think, or feel what you’re writing for themselves. Doing this makes your writing immersive and memorable.

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