At this time last year, we went over some ways to improve your writing in 2023. To build on the skills you learned by using the strategies we outlined for 2023, below you will find some new tips to help you improve your English writing in 2024.
Join an English language fan community.
Do you follow a sports team that also has a fan base in the English speaking world? What is your favorite American, British, Irish, Australian, or Canadian pop group? Is there a particular TV program that you watch to help you with your English language skills? Do you read news articles from English language web sites? What are your hobbies?
Think about your answers to the above questions. Then explore various corners of the internet—especially social media channels—to find an online community where you can find content related to your interest and where you can discuss it with native English speakers. This is a great way to practice your English writing in a place that is free from the stress and worries that you may face on the job or in the classroom (although some fan communities have their own special brand of drama).
Keep a journal.
We described the advantages of keeping a journal in one of our back-to-school articles a few months ago. But you don’t need to be a student to benefit from keeping a journal. It gives you daily writing practice and can also be used as a tool to help you get organized..
Since most writers do not share their journals with others, it’s an ideal place for you to “test drive” new vocabulary words or sentence structures. You can also just play around with the language and see what happens. You don’t need to worry about making mistakes. Your boss isn’t going to see them and neither is your professor, your client, your mom, or anyone else.
Try writing the old-fashioned way.
Physically writing things down using a pen/pencil and paper has some great advantages. The process is slower than typing on a keyboard. It also involves using more of your muscles—and more of your brain. While this may seem cumbersome, the end result is that it boosts your brain power. You are more likely to remember information if you actually write it down.
If you want to try writing things down, you can combine this writing strategy with keeping a journal (see above). Many bookstores sell notebooks and journals with attractive covers. If you are artistically inclined, you can combine writing with drawing. Then when you want to read over what you have written, all you need to do is open your journal. You don’t need to power up an electronic device or concern yourself with batteries or wifi connections. Twenty years from now, when your phone and laptop are obsolete, your journal will still be there for you.
The old-fashioned method of writing is also effective when you need to teach yourself new words, whether it’s for a university course, your job, or simply to enhance your English vocabulary. You write a new word on one side of a card. On the flip side, you write the definition of that word, along with a sentence that includes the word. The process of making these old-school flash cards will help you remember new words more easily than if you type this same information and print it.
The more you actually use the English language, the more your speaking, writing, and listening skills will improve. If you have any questions about the language, or if you would like one of our TextRanch editors to look at your writing and give you some feedback, click the blue box below.
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