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10 points to consider to write better

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Knowing how to write well, knowing the rules of spelling and writing is essential for success in the professional world. Here are some tips to correct or improve your writing.

To write, you need a sheet of paper, a pen and something you want to say. But what you want to say must always have a way. Otherwise, the message itself can suffer. Misspelling a word, misplacing a punctuation mark, lack of logic in writing says a lot about our education and us as a person.

Here are some tips you can put into practice to improve your writing.

1. What do you want to say? Even before you start writing, the first step is to know what you want to say, to whom you want to say it, and how you are going to say it. This will help your text to be harmonious and logical, making your opinions easier to communicate. Before you start, ask yourself these questions: What do I want to say? What is the central argument of my text? Who is my text for? Why do I want to do my essay? How do I want to communicate it?

2. Know your reader. The style of the text depends on who it is aimed at. An academic text should be serious, well-founded, following the structures of the genres, the writing and spelling should be impeccable, and so on. If, on the other hand, it is a personal letter, the tone can be humorous, with a casual vocabulary, you can use even colloquial abbreviations.

3. Catch them with the title. The first sentence of any text is the title, which should attract and captivate the reader’s attention. It is advisable to keep it simple, related to the subject, and create interest.

4. Don’t forget structure. Most written texts have a predetermined structure, especially when it comes to schoolwork or professional presentations; it is essential to know their basic structure. Even when writing a creative text, it must have a recognizable structure for its reader. It is the basis that gives coherence to the text and allows others to access any text without any problem.

The essay is the most commonly used type of text. Remember that its structure is as follows:

  • Introduction of the central theme, thesis, or problem to be dealt with. A short presentation that mentions the topic and how the topic is going to be dealt with.
  • Development or body: exposition of the arguments and counter-arguments of the main topic. It may consist of a few or several paragraphs; remember that each section should develop a single idea.
  • Conclusion: synthesis of what has been said, in which a proposal, result, or opinion should be given.

5. Respect the order of sentences. The basic order of a sentence is subject-predicate. Remember that a comma should never separate the subject and verb. It is common to find very long sentences in which this structure is blurred and causes confusion; it is preferable to construct short, concise sentences.

6. Punctuation is important. Punctuation is an essential tool to give clarity and fluidity to reading your ideas. Confusion occurs mostly because of poor or no use of punctuation. For example, the following sentence has totally different meanings:

Let’s eat children!
Let’s eat, children!

Below is a list of the most commonly used punctuation marks and when they should be used:

  • The full stop is used to separate distinct sentences or ideas.
  • The comma indicates a slight pause in the enunciation of the whole idea. They should always be used in the following cases: to separate two or more words or ideas, to limit a clarification and after the following locutions such as: in effect, that is to say, in agreement, finally, therefore, nevertheless, among others.
  • The semicolon is a pause in the sentence without implying its end. It is also used to list long elements that need to be separated or contain a comma.
  • A colon is used at the end of a sentence when you want to begin an enumeration, when you want to write a quotation, and before expressing an enunciation.
  • Suspension points are used as an unexpected pause in a sentence and when there is the following: doubt, irony, fear, expectation, or at the beginning of a non-textual quotation.
  • Exclamation marks are used to emphasize an idea, give a command, or show surprise.
  • Question marks frame a doubt or question.
  • Inverted commas are used to frame quotations, highlight expressions, point out incorrect terms, enclose meanings or translations, and cite titles of literary works.
  • Parentheses are used for clarifications, bibliographical references, translations of foreign expressions, and to introduce acronyms or abbreviations.

7. Try to have a varied vocabulary. Repeating the same words or phrases throughout the text or even within the same paragraph can bore or disinterest your reader. One way to achieve this is to resort to using synonyms; if you are not good at this, there are many online dictionaries that can help you:

8. Use linking words. Your sentences and paragraphs must be well related to each other, as this avoids abrupt interruptions between one idea and the next; also, when they are well-used, they make the writing task more manageable. The most common are: and, which, already, but, however, that is, that is, while, as, so, therefore, although.

9. Don’t overuse adjectives. While adjectives serve to make a text more descriptive, in the extreme, they are overwhelming. But how do you know when they are or are not necessary? Ask yourself the following questions: Does the adjective adequately describe the noun? If yes, is the adjective necessary for the reader to understand the idea?

10. Be precise. Avoid using vague or generic words such as thing, something, matters, good or rich to refer to objects or situations. The vast majority of these words can be replaced by a more precise word that better communicates the idea.

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