Next, just like your high school English teacher did, take a red pen and highlight things you liked: Examine why you like these elements, and see if there are any common threads in your favored reading material. See how writers take one subject and transition into another.
Apply these techniques to your own work. The pacing is excellent, it grabs your attention, and best of all, it keeps you reading. This piece was first published back in June, and I still remember it.
Read the full post here , and see how Morris masterfully tells the story of a band named Death and how this relates to writing content. Before we go any further, a disclaimer — imitation is not the same as plagiarism. Identify what it is you enjoy about their work, and see if you can use it to improve your writing skills.
Does a writer you like use humor to spice up dry topics? Do they use pop culture references to make their work entertaining and useful? I also attempted and failed to imitate writers such as Dave Eggers and Dan Kennedy, but soon realized that I wasn't funny enough and gave it up. Over time, I eventually developed my own style, but reading the works of these writers and seeing how they constructed their essays and books was immensely helpful to me as a writer see tip 3.
The blinking cursor of a blank page is a considerable foe, even for the most experienced writers. Before putting pen to proverbial paper, sketch out an outline of what you plan to write.
This will be your battle plan, and it will help you win the war. Very few — and I do mean very few — writers sit down to write anything without a solid plan in mind. A simple framework of which sections should appear in a particular order, along with a few sentences about what each section contains, may be enough.
If you start to feel lost, refer back to your outline and get back to kicking ass and taking names. Several examples three or four of content that aligns well with marketing positioning and branding of recognizable brands.
This outline eventually became my recent post about brand voice. I deviated from my initial outline slightly, but the overarching structure was always there to keep me on target. Editing is a tough skill to learn for beginner writers, because they place immense value on the time and effort they put into writing in the first place. However, a lot of writing is actually rewriting, and this is where the cold, hard eye of an editor will serve you well. Develop the discipline it takes to eliminate extraneous words more on this shortly.
Resist the temptation to wax lyrically and get to the point. Not sure if a paragraph works? Be tough on yourself, and know when to delete or rework something.
Your work will be much stronger as a result. The best writers make it look so easy. Just get your ideas down on paper first, then go back and start cleaning up. Writing is an iterative process, and even the best writers have to spend a lot of time reworking material they were probably too embarrassed to show anybody.
The email is supposed to contain key information that you need to present, as part of the business case for an important project. But there's a problem: There are misspellings and incomplete sentences, and the paragraphs are so long and confusing that it takes you three times longer than it should to find the information you want. As a result, you're under-prepared for the meeting, and it doesn't go as well as you want it to. Have you ever faced a situation similar to this?
In today's information overload world, it's vital to communicate clearly, concisely and effectively. People don't have time to read book-length emails, and they don't have the patience to scour badly-constructed emails for "buried" points.
The better your writing skills are, the better the impression you'll make on the people around you — including your boss, your colleagues, and your clients.
You never know how far these good impressions will take you! In this article and in the video, below, we'll look at how you can improve your writing skills and avoid common mistakes.
The first step to writing clearly is choosing the appropriate format. Do you need to send an informal email? Write a detailed report? Or write a formal letter? The format, as well as your audience, will define your "writing voice" — that is, how formal or relaxed the tone should be.
For instance, if you write an email to a prospective client, should it have the same tone as an email to a friend? Start by identifying who will read your message. Is it targeted at senior managers, the entire human resources team, or a small group of engineers? With everything you write, your readers, or recipients, should define your tone as well as aspects of the content.
A blank, white computer screen is often intimidating. And it's easy to get stuck because you don't know how to start. Try these tips for composing and styling your document:. Your document should be as "reader friendly" as possible. Use headings, subheadings, bullet points, and numbering whenever possible to break up the text. After all, what's easier to read — a page full of long paragraphs, or a page that's broken up into short paragraphs, with section headings and bullet points?
A document that's easy to scan will get read more often than a document with long, dense paragraphs of text. Headers should grab the reader's attention. In emails and proposals, use short, factual headings and subheadings, like the ones in this article. These visual aids not only keep the reader's eye engaged, but they can communicate important information much more quickly than text. You probably don't need us to tell you that errors in your document will make you look unprofessional.
It's essential to learn grammar properly, and to avoid common mistakes that your spell checker won't find. To learn more about commonly misused words, misused apostrophes, and other grammatical errors, take our Bite-Sized Training session on Written Communication.
Writing skills are an important part of communication. Good writing skills allow you to communicate your message with clarity and ease to a far larger audience than through face-to-face or telephone conversations.
Jul 12, · This is doubly important as employers have long complained that the writing skills of school leavers and graduates alike are simply not up the scratch. But it has to start with the intention that everyone can learn writing skills.
Aug 23, · How to Improve Your Writing Skills Five Methods: Writing Help Improving the Basics Reading for Writing Practicing Your Skills Crafting a Story Community Q&A Perhaps you have dreams of becoming the next Great Novelist%(61). This is the case with most jobs—whether you must write internal memos, correspond with clients, or help design sales materials. Writing beautiful prose and poetry is a talent. Writing effectively, however, is a skill that can be learned.
Jun 30, · Good writing skills can help you come across as more credible, more capable, than a colleague who frequently has typos and grammatical errors. Profession. Obviously good writing skills are important when your job involves writing, be it as a journalist, paralegal or public relations professional – that goes without saying. With content marketing shaping up as one of the most important marketing skills to have on your resume, getting a handle on writing could really benefit your career as well as the obvious benefit of increasing traffic to your company's site.