Writing Tips Study Guide
I'm not a very good writer, but I'm an excellent rewriter. -James A. Michener (1907–1997) -American Novelist and Short Story Writer
Congratulations on your commitment to improve your writing. This lesson reminds you of things to remember every time you write in order to be totally confident that you have performed all the appropriate steps and done your very best.
Writing well requires thoughtful planning, observance of the rules of grammar and spelling, attention to detail, and, most important of all, a commitment to thinking hard and doing it right.
Review these tips to make sure you understand and believe them. If you make these tips your own personal rules for writing, you're certain to write better. And remember, it's only taken you 15 minutes a day to achieve this important life skill.
Tip 1: The Single Best Way to Improve Your Writing
The single most effective way to improve your writing doesn't involve writing at all. The secret: Read! If you read (at least) 15 minutes a day, every day, your writing will definitely and magically improve.
Tip 2: Slow Down
The single most useful practice you can develop as a writer is to slow down. Proofread and edit your writing very carefully, and you're certain to catch a lot of errors in advance of submitting your work to other readers.
Tip 3: Learn to Type!
If you don't already know how to touch type, which means typing quickly without looking at the keys, learn how! Being able to type quickly will actually make your writing better—because you won't lose your train of thought while you're searching around the keyboard.
Tip 4: Identify Your Audience before You Begin Writing
The more specifically you have your reader in mind, the more focused and fluent your actual writing will be.
Tip 5: How to Get Jumpstarted
If you're having trouble getting started on a strong first paragraph, skip it and begin your writing with the second and third paragraph.
Tip 6: Ask the 5 Ws
If you're stuck about how to develop your topic, imagine you're a reporter or a detective, and ask the 5 Ws: who, what, where, when, why.
Tip 7: How to Write an Interesting Introduction
||Ask a question, whether or not you answer it right away.|
||Use a quotation, which needn't be from a famous person; it might come from someone you've interviewed for the essay.|
||Include a startling or shocking fact that will grab your reader's attention.|
||Include a dramatic description of a situation or event related to your topic.|
||Start out with an exclamation: "Wow! Who knew the problem was this great?" This isn't a question that calls for an answer; it's simply a dramatic device that can often be used effectively. This is called a hypothetical question.|
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