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Old 02-11-2007, 01:57 PM   #1
statman32
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Default How to improve your writing skills???

I havent taken a english class in two years and now im finnaly taking one and Im screwed..Does anyone have any good links or advice that can help me work on my writing and posting skills???
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Old 02-11-2007, 02:18 PM   #2
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Default Re: How to improve your writing skills???

I'm a journalism major so i do a LOT of writing. The best advice i have is just to read a lot. Magazines, newspapers, books, websites...just read a lot and you'll get a good feel of how the pro's do it. It'll make you a better writer too because it'll teach you different ways to use words/word your sentences
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Old 02-11-2007, 02:24 PM   #3
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Default Re: How to improve your writing skills???

Quote:
Originally Posted by B-Low
I'm a journalism major so i do a LOT of writing. The best advice i have is just to read a lot. Magazines, newspapers, books, websites...just read a lot and you'll get a good feel of how the pro's do it. It'll make you a better writer too because it'll teach you different ways to use words/word your sentences

yeh, what he said
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Old 02-11-2007, 02:31 PM   #4
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Default Re: How to improve your writing skills???

be more informed at the subject, and ya reading is the key.
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Old 02-11-2007, 03:08 PM   #5
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Default Re: How to improve your writing skills???

Read some and write ALOT. I'm planning on becoming a Journalism major and even though I don't like reading, I observe other's works and that helps me in what I write. I started doing some writing in 9th grade, now I'm in 11th, and I can see how much I've improved. Just practice your writing and try different things.
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Old 02-11-2007, 06:08 PM   #6
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Default Re: How to improve your writing skills???

Man, I am taking this college course for writing and it has REALLY helped me. She is a brilliant teacher and just happens to be my first black teacher that I have ever had. She teaches an all-white class except for one black kid who is a good friend of mine. Enough about that but I will give you some tips.

Provide SPECIFIC examples. Example-There are a lot of movies that have violence. There are some that have rapes in them.

Instead say this. Violence has been occuring in many movies. Hills have eyes is a perfect example because it shows a guy beating and raping a 15-year old girl.

Examples dont necessarily prove a point though.

Provide specific reasons for why something is bad or why something is good.

Statistics are the best b/c you cant deny the facts. But make sure you provide the footnote or whatever so it shows you arent making it up.

Authority is another brilliant thing to use. Experts on the subject, scientists, PhD. Stuff like that. Are you going to believe some guy on the street or believe a scientist or an expert. Once again you need to supply evidence that these people are scientists or experts.

Dont use so many big words all the time. That makes it impossible for other people to read and understand what you are saying.
Example: Martin Luther King

"I have a dream"

"I possess an aspiration"

Which one sounds better? Obviously the first one because it is simple and sticks in your head and you can understand that better.


Hope this helps. I write for my school newspaper and was pondering journalism as a major but decided against it.

I am doing petroleum engineering instead. I like math and science better.
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Old 02-11-2007, 06:14 PM   #7
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Default Re: How to improve your writing skills???

Quote:
Originally Posted by Timmeh
Read some and write ALOT. I'm planning on becoming a Journalism major and even though I don't like reading, I observe other's works and that helps me in what I write. I started doing some writing in 9th grade, now I'm in 11th, and I can see how much I've improved. Just practice your writing and try different things.

As a future Journalism major, you might want to know that "a lot" is two words. It's not "alot", it's "a lot". You're welcome.

;-)
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Old 02-11-2007, 07:11 PM   #8
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Default Re: How to improve your writing skills???

Well usually I find if you're not writing spontaneously it is extremely difficult to write (unless it's a research paper or something). But just read a lot, it helped me a lot in improving my vocabulary and in generally putting sentences together. If you're taking an expository writing class where you write a lot of essays, then just read collected essays of good authors (I recommend Orwell, his writing is really concise and easy to read) or something like "the best american essays of 200_."

Usually teachers recommend a daily log of reflections but that's a bit corny, so just read casually whenever you can.
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Old 02-11-2007, 07:22 PM   #9
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Default Re: How to improve your writing skills???

One grammatical error I've regularly noticed from you is your use of the word "alot". It's acually two words. A lot not Alot, get it? I've noticed you misusing it multiple times in the What If League.

Last edited by The Answer : 02-11-2007 at 07:26 PM.
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Old 02-11-2007, 07:25 PM   #10
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Default Re: How to improve your writing skills???

Quote:
Originally Posted by apriorist
As a future Journalism major, you might want to know that "a lot" is two words. It's not "alot", it's "a lot". You're welcome.

;-)

I now see that you've already mentioned a lot being two words. I guess I should've read the thread before I commented.
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Old 02-11-2007, 07:53 PM   #11
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Default Re: How to improve your writing skills???

Quote:
Originally Posted by statman32
I havent taken a english class in two years and now im finnaly taking one and Im screwed..Does anyone have any good links or advice that can help me work on my writing and posting skills???

i think a thesaurus can be helpful. you get to use different words that mean the same thing and interchange them whenever one sounds better. MS word has a thesaurus, just highlight and rightclick a word, i believe
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Old 02-11-2007, 08:57 PM   #12
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Default Re: How to improve your writing skills???

Quote:
Originally Posted by apriorist
As a future Journalism major, you might want to know that "a lot" is two words. It's not "alot", it's "a lot". You're welcome.
Yeah I know it is, I was just in a hurry to send the response. I was getting ready to go out. If I'm writing poems, essays, short stories, or whatever, I always double check and if posts on a message board were graded, it would be "a lot".
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Old 02-12-2007, 10:50 PM   #13
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Default Re: How to improve your writing skills???

Quote:
Originally Posted by knicks15
i think a thesaurus can be helpful. you get to use different words that mean the same thing and interchange them whenever one sounds better. MS word has a thesaurus, just highlight and rightclick a word, i believe

yo dont do the thesaraus thing. IT is so obvious to the teacher.
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Old 02-12-2007, 11:56 PM   #14
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Default Re: How to improve your writing skills???

Thanks to everyone including hawker.(surprised you tried to help out)

I'll try to follow everyones advice and use it to become a decent writer.

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Old 02-13-2007, 12:40 AM   #15
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Default Re: How to improve your writing skills???

Quote:
The best advice i have is just to read a lot.
Reading is key. To me, it's more important than practicing writing (by far), because, after all, the way to learn great style and structure is by reading it first. Immersing yourself in books will increase your writing ability exponentially, because you'll find yourself imitating the classics.


Quote:
Provide SPECIFIC examples. Example-There are a lot of movies that have violence. There are some that have rapes in them.

Instead say this. Violence has been occuring in many movies. Hills have eyes is a perfect example because it shows a guy beating and raping a 15-year old girl.
Well, obviously you'd want to structure it a little more eloquently than that, but he's basically right. If you're writing an essay, examples with substance are integral, otherwise you're just penning some sort of weak editorial.


Quote:
Statistics are the best b/c you cant deny the facts. But make sure you provide the footnote or whatever so it shows you arent making it up.
If you're going to use stats, don't skew them. Anticipate counter-arguments to yours and refute them. Holes in writing are glaring and your entire work can be ripped apart for failing to address the situation from all aspects.

Quote:
Dont use so many big words all the time. That makes it impossible for other people to read and understand what you are saying.
Example: Martin Luther King

"I have a dream"

"I possess an aspiration"

Which one sounds better? Obviously the first one because it is simple and sticks in your head and you can understand that better.
The first one sounds better because it was the original. Don't be afraid to use "big" words, provided you understand what they mean. Don't use them to impress your instructor, however; use them to diversify your writing.

As for making a career out of writing, it's something I am on the track of, but I'm seriously reconsidering. I would be doing something that I love, but there's simply no money in it. You have to look at the rewards you'd be reaping compared to how hard you're working.

Last edited by johndeeregreen : 02-13-2007 at 12:46 AM.
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