A good writing skill is much needed to articulate one’s self and excel in any field, thereafter. English writing skills can be highly improved if you take up reading English books or articles as a hobby. The best way to make reading a habit is by selecting a subject from your field of interest; it can be articles on sports, science fiction or entertainment as well. The only thing to remember while you go through a book or article is that you are supposed to notice the basic usage of words, phrases, prepositions and punctuations.
The very basic areas that you need to work on for improving your English writing skills are elaborated below.
Use Proper Punctuation
One of the most important things to keep in mind while writing is punctuation. Any sentence that you write will not be properly expressed without proper punctuation. Using commas and semicolons for separating different parts of a sentence is important, to convey the message correctly. Otherwise, different readers may decipher different meanings of a complex sentence. Mostly, the prepositional phrases are followed by commas so that the readers take a pause after the right part of the sentence.
When you are about to write complex sentences or sentences with more than one clause, opt for semicolons to separate the clauses in the same sentence. This makes it less likely for readers to get confused while interpreting the individual clauses and the entirety of the sentence.
Correct Usage of Apostrophe
Often students make mistakes while using apostrophe ‘s’ and the most common mistake happens with the word ‘it’. The wrong usage of apostrophe s with it changes the whole meaning of the sentence. For example, when one writes “It’s a beautiful day”, it’s stands for the abbreviation of ‘it is’, and many students make the mistake of writing “Its a beautiful day”. Some students face a confusion with the use of ‘its’ and ‘it’s’. It is important to understand the correct usage of ‘its’ and ‘it’s’. The following example will clarify the meaning of both.
‘The dog got hurt in its leg.’
‘It’s our pet dog which found the keys.’
The first sentence explains that the dog’s leg is wounded and ‘its leg’ stands for ‘the dog’s leg’. In the second sentence, ‘it’s’ has replaced ‘it is’.
Students are suggested to keep in mind such short and simple sentences as examples and incorporate it while writing.
Countable and uncountable nouns
Even though students are mostly aware of the countable and uncountable nouns yet they make errors while specifying the quantity of such nouns. For example, to specify the quantity of countable nouns, words like ‘many’, ‘few’ can be used but the same words cannot be used to specify the quantity of uncountable nouns. For example, while specifying the quantity of uncountable nouns such as milk, money, we use the words ‘much’, ‘a lot of’ or ‘little’.
It is very important to use the correct words to specify the quantity of countable and uncountable nouns in your sentences. The best way to ward off this confusion is to note down examples for some common countable and uncountable nouns and revise them regularly. With more practice, this will help to improve your writing skills.
Avoid spelling errors
One of the most common errors that students of all ages are prone to make is the spelling error. Mostly, the students of junior classes struggle with the spellings that have double alphabets and they miss repeating the alphabets while taking down a dictation or in spelling tests. The only way this can be done away with is by inculcating the concept of syllables in them. If they find difficulty in memorizing the spelling of a word, then it becomes easier if they break the words into two or more syllables. Mostly, the spellings and grammatical functions in the textbooks of NCERT are chosen keeping in mind the intellect levels of various age-groups, you can get the list of all subjects details on a single site at Vedantu NCERT . Also, the concept of phonetics is being introduced in the academic curriculum of many schools for this purpose. Apart from learning the concept of syllables, a rigorous practice of some commonly used spellings is also effective for better writing skills.
Correct use of articles
Even though it may seem very basic, yet a proper understanding of articles is imperative for writing correct sentences. The basic usage of ‘a’ and ‘an’ gets mostly cleared among students in junior classes due to the concept of spelling check for this. The confusion with article usage comes when students are needed to use ‘the’ in a sentence. The articles ‘a’ and ‘an’ is used for indefinite nouns, that is, when no specific thing or person is being referred to. For referring to definite nouns such as a particular person or a particular thing, article ‘the’ has to be used. For example, ‘An apple a day keeps the doctor away.’ – in this sentence, apple is an indefinite noun and doctor is a definite noun, hence the articles are used accordingly.
When to use comma for ‘that’, ‘which’ or ‘who’
Often students are found to struggle with the use of relative pronouns in their sentences. They are generally confused when to put commas after ‘that’, ‘who’ and ‘which’ in a sentence. The trick is to identify the information that is not essential about the subject, and mostly these are the descriptions about the subject in a sentence. While mentioning such descriptive information, commas are to be used to separate the description from the major clause of the sentence. For example, “The girl, who is in yellow dress, won the dance competition.” The description of the girl is the non-essential information in the sentence and is separated from the major clause by a comma. The same rule has to be followed while using relative pronouns in a sentence.
The above-mentioned tips are going to be greatly helpful for improving your basic writing skills in English. Most of the above tricks are taught in the junior classes of school, but students tend to forget these as they begin to learn newer concepts in the higher classes. These basic rules cannot be done without when it comes to writing correct sentences and paragraphs in English, for any subject. So, students are suggested to understand and incorporate these in practice for improving their English writing skills.