We all know that there is no age to learn new things. Learning is a lifelong process, and learning some new writing skills can help bring about dramatic improvements in the overall quality of your writing. Most people tend to underestimate the importance of having refined writing skills. Writing is one of the oldest forms of communication in the world that still exists today.
Becoming a better writer takes a lot of practice, and even if you don’t think of yourself as a writer, it is one skill that all of us need to master. Even the most minor tasks, such as drafting emails, writing your resume, writing any post on social media platforms, and messaging your friends, require you to put your thoughts into words. And this happens more often than you may realize.
There are certain factors that define a good writing style. Things like short sentences, simple words, and direct language help keep readers engaged. While everyone wants to preserve their unique style of writing, there are several ways to improve styles. Here are eight tips to help improve your writing style.
1. Use easy to understand language
Everyone has different writing styles, and there are many ways to write the same sentence. You can use different words to convey the same idea. One of the first things you can do to improve your style is to use straightforward language while writing. This is the fundamental tip to simply writings in English. Decide to use simple words, regardless of whether they are nouns, verbs, or adjectives. Easy-to-understand and straightforward words tend to have broader connotations. This means that there will be a lesser chance of error when you use simpler terms.
Complex words will have more specific definitions, and if you are unfamiliar with a word but still go ahead and use it, it may throw off the entire meaning of the sentence. Using complicated terms in your writing may also confuse the reader and make them lose interest in what you have written.
So opt for substituting a complex and less familiar word with an easier and understandable word. If unsure, use a thesaurus to help find a replacement word.
2. Watch the length of your sentences when writing
You will find that some of the world’s best writing contains small sentences. One of the most important skills for writers is to limit the use of long sentences. And the best way to do this is to divide a long sentence into shorter sentences. However, this does not mean that all your sentences need to be brief.
In some places, you will need to keep longer sentences as well. Otherwise, it would create a choppy style. This is also where the art of knowing how to write comes into play.
Understanding how to weave short sentences with longer ones to create a sensible paragraph is an art that only comes with practice.
Another skill for writers is understanding how to use a variety of sentences to write. If you struggle to keep your sentences short, you can take help from Microsoft Word’s spellchecker.
Other spellchecker software also allows you to set a maximum sentence length. If the sentence is too long, it will get marked as a grammatical error. By setting the limit to 25 to 30 words per sentence, you can improve your style significantly.
3. Write short paragraphs
Along with shorter sentences, it is a good idea to keep your paragraphs short. Stick to developing one idea per paragraph. Each paragraph should have sentences that support one idea itself.
Mixing more than one idea in a paragraph can confuse the reader. Shorter paragraphs are easier to read and understand.
Shorter paragraphs also appear more visually pleasing on the page. However, when it comes to academic writing, keep in mind that such a form of writing involves lengthier paragraphs as more information is provided to support the themes. In less former writing, though, you should try to stick to shorter paragraphs.
4. Prefer writing in active voice
Most writings in English prefer to use the active voice rather than the passive voice. Following a proper subject-verb-object structure in your sentences is the best way to make your point clearly.
When it comes to writing styles and skills for writers, active voice is typically considered to be strong than passive voice. This is because active voice restricts the number of words needed and lets you communicate things more directly.
Even though the passive voice might be grammatically correct, you will notice that using the passive voice creates longer and more complex sentences.
When you look at some of the world’s best writing, you will find that passive voice is a weaker way of presenting your thoughts and information.
5. Avoid any redundancies
When you unnecessarily repeat a word or the same idea, the reader tends to get tired quickly. This is known as redundant writing. You can eliminate redundant phrases or words without having any impact on the meaning of the sentence.
Remember that nothing is more frustrating to a reader than reading a piece of writing that is going around in circles. Get straight to the point.
Clearly think about what you want to communicate and what message you want the reader to take away from your write-up. Now make sure that you write this message clearly and in the most direct manner possible.
Apart from being redundant, you also need to get rid of filler words like prepositional phrases and unnecessary adverbs. These are known to take up space and weigh down a sentence. So just focus on saying exactly what you want to communicate in the most direct way possible.
6. Write in a natural and conversational tone
There are many different writing styles. Your writing style depends on your own unique tone. This is why it is best to communicate within your comfort zone. Write like you are conversing. Give shape to ideas with your own thoughts and inner voice.
At the same time, do your best to avoid falling into clichés. Any good piece of writing should reflect your personality.
7. Avoid too much of self-reference in your writing
While it is good to write in a natural and conversational tone, avoid using unnecessary personal phrases like “I believe,” “in my opinion,” or “I feel.”
There is typically no need to constantly remind the reader that whatever is written in your personal opinion. So if you find yourself writing in this style, it is a good idea to cut out any unnecessary self-reference.
8. Read, read, and read some more
The best way to improve your writing is by reading other authors. After all, we learn by example, and there is no better way to improve your style than by learning from how different people write and convey their messages. With time, you will automatically begin to adapt your writing style to those authors with whom you resonate the most.
For example, pick up any book by Ruskin Bon, and you will see how simple his style and tone of the story are. Look at how beautifully he integrates minute details of the natural landscape into his stories, bringing them to life.
All great writers have a certain stamp on their work. They write with a signature style, and this is found in the world’s best writing as well. Paying attention to the styles of other authors will help you polish your own skills.
Most of all, remember that practice makes perfect. So if you want to write like a pro, you need to practice daily. Set yourself some daily writing exercises.
There is no need to keep them lengthy and time-consuming. Even committing to writing just one paragraph a day is enough to practice your skills.
One of the best ways to pick up skills for writers is to incorporate a bit of daily reading into your writing time. For example, how about writing a practice paragraph about what you read during the day? Try to pick up different elements from various authors and their writings. Weave these different writing styles to polish and develop your own writing voice.
If you also want to learn about how to improve your writing style, but don’t know how to go about the process, well, wonder no more. Unluclass has the perfect solution for you – writing classes with the great author Ruskin Bond himself.
Writing Classes with Ruskin Bond
With Unluclass’ writing classes online, you will master all the basic writing skills that an excellent writer needs to excel in, including learning the nitty-gritties of content writer to develop it as a serious career option in the future.
Ruskin Bond, the legend himself, would be present on your screens to help you learn creative writing and the basics of writing. An online screenwriting and scriptwriting course is also combined in Unlu’s writing class to make this process exceptionally insightful for anyone. Whatever questions you may have about the subject, or whatever challenges you face, we are certain that they will get solved during these sessions.