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Writing tips


Writing tips

These are some tips to help you in your writing.

General

The ideal English text is easy to read and understand. Good writers usually use plain English words. So your sentences should be simple, clear and well structured.

When writing, remember the following recommendations in mind:

  • use simple language
  • use simple and clear sentences
  • write well structured paragraphs (with a topic sentences supporting details and a concluding sentence)
  • you may use subordinate clauses but keep them short
  • prefer active voice to passive voice
  • avoid slang language.

Sentence

Make your sentences simple and clear.
A sentence always encloses a subject, a verb and , optionally, a complement.
Examples:

  • she tells stories
  • She lies

A sentence may contain subordinate clauses (relative clauses, if clauses…)

Paragraph

As to paragraphs, keep the following rules in mind:

  • Concentrate on one main point per paragraph. Summarize this point in the first sentence ( topic sentence.)
  • All sentences that follow support the main point or limit its scope (supporting sentences)
  • The last sentence is a summary of the main point of the paragraph and is used as a transition to the next paragraph. (concluding sentence)

Text

The typical structure of a text is as follows:

  • (title)
  • introduction
  • main part
  • conclusion

Make your texts interesting. Vary the lengths of your sentences. Use a short sentence to put emphasis on an important statements. Vary the lengths of your paragraphs and avoid one-sentence paragraphs.

There are various possibilities on how to structure your texts, e.g.:

  • General to Specific:
    general statement followed by details and examples
  • Specific to General:
    details and examples followed by a generalization:
  • Known to Unknown:
    provide new information based on what readers already know
  • Least Important to Most Important:
    catch and keep readers' attention
  • Chronology (ordering by time):
    e.g. in biographies

Process writing

Writing is a process. Famous successful writers follow these steps in their writing:

  • Collecting  the data
  • Organizing the data
  • Making an outline.
  • The first draft.
  • Editing.
  • Possible reassessment of the ideas (crossing out some ideas, introducing new ideas, rearranging ideas…)
  • Final draft.

Type of texts

  • Descriptive
  • Argumentative
  • Letters (personal and business letters)
  • Cause and effects…