20 Tips to Improve Your Writing

Writing takes up a large portion of your life, from the moment you describe your home in preschool until you write a research paper in college. Writing occurs at any time, anywhere under any circumstances, whether it’s writing an email, a social media update, or a blog post. It’s never too late to improve your writing and hone your skills, so below are 20 tips to improve your writing.
20 Tips to Improve Your Writing
1. Participate in a challenge

There are multiple writing challenges on the internet you can participate to improve your writing. One of the most popular writing challenges is NaNoWriMo (abbreviation for National Novel Writing Month), where participants are invited to write every day of the month to finish 50,000 words of a new novel, so writers have to write 1,700 words per day. An alternative to NaNoWriMo is the 30-day Writing Challenge, where writers have different writing prompts every day. Writers have the freedom to work on any type of creative writing. You can use the 30-day challenge to work on any type of creative writing.  

2. Write even when you don’t want to write

Developing a habit of daily writing creates a discipline and commitment to be better. We know there are days when you don’t feel like writing, or you don’t have the inspiration to write. During those times, you can start to write down your feelings, your thoughts, or write about why you feel that way. This is a good way to process your thoughts and potentially come up with solutions.

3. Write in your most comfortable environment

Whether you enjoy writing in a bustling coffee shop or in a quiet library, exploring the most comfortable and inspiring environment will help you boost your mentality and give you an unexpected inspiration to finish your novel or article. 

4. Carry a notebook and a pen with you, or always bring a phone with you

No matter where you are, inspiration can hit you at any time, while shopping, drinking coffee, or taking a walk. Remember to bring a notebook and a pen with you on the way, or write it down on your phone

5. Read more

One of the most effective ways to write is to read more. Once you read a lot, you will be able to identify a great piece of writing compared to a normal one. Reading also lets you see different styles of writing, then implement them in your own way of writing. 

6. Join a writing club

A great draft will become an amazing novel if there are critics. Join a writing club in your area, or online to receive feedback from other writers and to build a community of mind-like writers.  

7. Imitate Writers that you admire

Similar to the tip about reading more, you can read novels or stories by your favorite authors and identify what is it that you like about their way of writing. Is it the humor, or the way they construct an imaginative image through words? By understanding their style, you can use it to improve your writing skills and develop your own style. 

8. Get rid of filler words and phrases

Remember when you use a word very often for no reason, simply because you just want to make the sentences longer than they already are. This sentence we just wrote is one of them. Word choice is important in the writing process. Grammarly has published a list of words you can remove from your writing during the editing process. There are other grammar rules that you should pay attention to. 

9. Always revise the first draft

Even the best writer in the world needs to revise his/her draft over and over again to refine and make the piece perfect. Even though you may think that your draft is awesome and there’s nothing you should change, having a second set of eyes to review your writing and provide feedback is a great way of improving your writing. 

10. Expand your vocabulary

Regardless of the language you’re writing in, always consider expanding your vocabulary to improve your writing. A rich vocabulary will help you describe things in a vibrant and interesting way, helping readers to paint a visual image of the story and become a part of your story. 

11. Find a Writing Partner

In the process of writing, you should always have writing partners. They can be your friends, family, classmates, or your tutor. Anyone who is able to motivate and support you along the way is a great writing partner. At Aralia, we have multiple writing classes where you can partner up with different students to write together, edit together, and submit pieces in writing competitions together. 

12. Learn how to identify bad writing

Plenty of bad writing exists on the internet, even though in terms of grammar and punctuation, it all seems perfect. Several questions you should ask when reading new articles or new novel:  

  • Is the purpose of the writing clear?  
  • Does each paragraph make sense and contribute to the overarching topic?  
  • What is the point the writer is trying to make?
13. Edit fresh

After finishing your writing, maybe you shouldn’t edit your essay just yet, because you are still in writer mode and you have assumptions and understandings about your work. After writing, set it aside for a bit and then come back to review with fresh eyes. 

14. Give your writing a structure

Having a structure in your writing helps you better organize ideas and arguments into appropriate order and paragraphs. The worst thing you can do to your essay is to keep writing in circles, ramble, and gradually steer your essay away from its original purpose. Albert Einstein said, “If you can’t explain it to a six-year-old, you don’t understand it yourself.” Confirm the structure and purpose of your writing or even try to explain it to a six-year-old to see if he/she can understand it. 

15. Identify your reading audience

Great writers understand their readers and what readers want to learn about when reading your piece. Misunderstanding your audience is like if you are cooking a multi-course meal with steak and lamb for your vegetarian friends. Understand the readers’ problems, dreams, and fears, then write an article or novel that helps to solve their problems and encourages them to implement solutions. 

16. Research more about your topics

Never underestimate the power of research. By spending time performing research about authors their writings similar to your topics, you will be able to find inspiration and opposing ideas. These ideas will contribute greatly to your writing progress.

17. Always use active voice

Using active voice gives your piece more vibrant and exciting energy, because the subject is doing something, rather than something being done. The passive voice may be grammatically correct, but it makes the sentence longer and more complicated for the reader to understand. 

18. Choose your words carefully

Every word in your sentence should have a purpose and all words contribute to the overall effectiveness and expression of your writing. Depending on the purpose of the writing piece, you should choose familiar vocabulary over lofty words to better communicate with the readers. 

19. Read aloud what you wrote

It’s more likely you will see your writing mistakes when you hear your writing rather than reading it. Even though it may be awkward at first, reading aloud can improve your writing flow and the words you chose. If you find yourself stumbling over a sentence or paragraph, the section probably needs some editing. 

20. Enjoy your writing

The last and the most important tip to improve your writing is to actually enjoy creating and writing a new piece. If you want to be a writer in the future, you will spend a lot of time writing, editing, and being frustrated about the lack of ideas. In those moments, please remember the reasons why you enjoy writing in the first place, and use them as a motivation to keep up the good work.

For high school students who want to explore writing as an interest or want to improve their writing, Aralia Education has the right classes for you! Aralia’s tutors are inspired teachers and professors who are committed to student success. They are recognized in their field or are currently teaching at top high schools and colleges/universities in the US. 

WRITING COMPETITION PREP

Description:Students will learn the nuances of language, including figurative language, effective structuring, and specific forms to apply to their own piece(s). Students will work directly with both literary and media texts to plan and write their piece(s). This class will also help the students write with an aim for an audience as their submission for nation-wide and international writing competitions that are timely with the course schedule.

Project time: Rolling enrollment throughout the year, one class every weekend, 1.5 hours per class 

WRITING PORTFOLIO PREP

Description:In this course, students will write in different forms, including both fiction (prose/poetry) and non-fiction. By the end of the course, students will submit at least one of their writing pieces to either the Young Writers or Scholastic Arts writing competitions. They will have also built a varied writing portfolio.

Project time: Rolling enrollment throughout the year, one class every weekend, 1.5 hours per class 

ACADEMIC WRITING

Description:This course helps students develop and improve their writing skills to prepare students for higher education courses. The methodology emphasizes the ability to read critically, think critically, and write critically. Students will learn informative, narrative, descriptive, creative, and persuasive essay writing skills. Students will learn how to brainstorm, structure and outline, form an argument, defend it, incorporate academic sources, and develop a clear, articulate writing style. The focus will be on the writing process, intended audience, consistent tenses, point of view, correct grammar uses, building vocabulary, appropriate style, and proper research and citation protocols.

Project time: Rolling enrollment throughout the year, one class every weekend, 1.5 hours per class 

ENGLISH WRITING & READING (level varies)

Description: This course introduces students to significant movements in literary history. The course will begin with a brief introduction to the study of literature. The bulk of the course functions as a survey of literary movements throughout history, focusing primarily on the Western Canon. Students will learn about the history, background of movements like Neoclassicism, Romanticism, Victorian, Realism, Surrealism, etc. Students will reflect on what they are reading through discussion in class, with their teacher and peers, and writing in biweekly assignments.

Project time: Rolling enrollment throughout the year, one class every weekend, 1.5 hours per class 

What's next?

Interested in participating in High School Writing Competitions? There are 27 Writing Competitions for High School Students in 2021! 

How can I stand out in writing competitions? The only 5 tips you need to know is here: 5 Tips to Stand Out in a Writing Competition

Heard about John Locke Essay Competition but not sure where to start? Read this Complete Guide to John Locke Essay Competition

Finished your writing work but not sure where to submit it? Where to Submit Your Writing Works: 5 Main Platforms will answer your questions

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