If you’re learning English as a second language, it’s a common mistake to just focus on grammar and spelling without taking into account how your writing flows.
I’m sure you’ve seen some of these mistakes in your own writing, but they tend to be subtle. You don’t realize you’ve made them until you see them in someone else’s writing.
It’s easy to overlook these mistakes because they come across as natural and familiar to native speakers. The good news is that there are easy fixes that can help you write with greater clarity and precision.
STEP 1: Use a Thesaurus
A thesaurus is a very handy tool for writers who struggle with choosing words. This is because it helps you find alternative wordings for phrases or entire sentences.
This will save you time and make your writing more natural. I recommend the free version of thesaurus.com which will allow you to search for synonyms and antonyms.
STEP 2: Write in the Present Tense
When you’re learning English, it’s important to be aware of your own writing style. It’s easy to fall into bad habits when you’re learning a new language, but it’s also important to realize that you’re trying to become a native speaker.
The easiest way to avoid bad habits is to write in the present tense. The present tense is often referred to as the “active” or “present progressive” tense because it refers to a completed action or event that is happening right now.
The present tense also allows you to focus on the action rather than the outcome. This makes it easier to focus on the things you need to do rather than worry about what happens next.
STEP 3: Use Passive Voice
Using passive voice is another common mistake when learning English. This happens when you use the active voice but take the subject of the sentence out of it.
The reason this is a mistake is that it makes your writing less clear and concise. Passive voice is used when you want to pass the blame. It’s used when you’re talking about someone else’s actions.
You don’t have to avoid passive voice completely. It’s very common in technical writing, but it’s also a great way to make your writing more engaging.
It’s important to know that passive voice can be used in several ways. I recommend finding a guide online that will help you figure out which one works best for you.
STEP 4: Use Long Sentences
Long sentences are another common mistake when learning English. There’s nothing wrong with using long sentences, but it’s important to use them wisely.
The key to using long sentences is to be concise and make sure you include all the necessary information. You should never just add words to a sentence because it makes your writing seem less precise and more wordy.
STEP 5: Read Books and Articles
Reading books and articles will give you a ton of inspiration on how to write better in English. The important thing to remember when reading is to read widely.
It’s easy to get stuck on one book or article and think that you’ve read everything there is about the subject. The truth is that there’s always something else that you haven’t seen yet.
You should also pay attention to the tone of the article. Some people love reading articles that focus on negative emotions, while others prefer to read more positive ones.
STEP 6: Avoid Wordiness
There’s no magic formula for wordiness, but I can tell you one thing that will help you avoid it: use your imagination.
When you write, use your mind to make up interesting phrases or sentences. This can be difficult if you’re not used to it, but if you practice it long enough, it becomes second nature.
STEP 7: Write About What You Know
This is the most important tip in this article. Writing about what you know makes your writing clearer and more precise.
If you’re writing about a subject you don’t have much experience with, try to research it first. It will help you understand the topic better and also help you avoid writing about things you don’t know how to do.
Once you’ve found some examples of good writing in the area you’re interested in, try to emulate them. If you’re a writer, this shouldn’t be hard because you’re already emulating other writers.
The key is to write about something you know, but make it sound natural and interesting. You should be able to find examples of this online, but don’t be afraid to ask for help from native speakers or people who have written about the subject before.
Thanks for reading!