10 Valuable Tips for Improving Your English Writing Proficiency

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Two years ago, I wrote an article on improving your English writing when English is not your first language. It was a difficult writeup since I am myself from a country where English is not the first language, and I still continue to learn (and sometimes, make mistakes too). Nonetheless, the article continues to be read and referred to today.

This article focuses on improving English writing proficiency in a more general context; it applies to English-speaking and non-English-speaking people. It’s shorter and more concise. To help you read faster, feel free to navigate the table of content and go straight to your desired tips.

Improving your English writing


What does it mean to improve your English writing proficiency?

Improving your English writing proficiency means refining your ability to express thoughts, ideas, and information in English. It involves enhancing your grammar, vocabulary, spelling, punctuation, and writing style.

Why is it important?

Improving your English writing skills is crucial because English is the most widely used language for international communication. Good English writing skills can help you articulate your thoughts clearly and effectively, whether for academic, professional, or personal purposes.

Tip #1: Read Regularly

The benefits of reading for writing improvement

Reading is one of the most effective ways to improve your writing skills. It exposes you to different writing styles, tones, vocabulary, and sentence structures. It also helps you understand how ideas are presented, and arguments are built in writing.

Suggestions for what to read

Read various materials – books, magazines, newspapers, academic journals, blogs, and more. Explore different genres and topics, from fiction and non-fiction books to scientific articles and news reports. This will enrich your knowledge and give you a broad perspective on different writing styles.

Once you identify the ones you enjoy the most, maintain reading these genres.

Tip #2: Write Daily

How daily writing can boost your skills

Regular practice is key to improving any skill, and writing is no exception. Writing daily helps you apply what you’ve learned, experiment with different writing techniques, and gradually improve your writing style.

Writing daily also helps you identify your common mistakes to work on them. Over time, as you come across similar mistakes and fix them, your confidence will grow.

Ideas for daily writing exercises

Start by keeping a journal where you can write about your day, thoughts, or feelings. You can also write short essays on various topics, book reviews, or even start your own blog. The idea is to get into the habit of expressing yourself in written English.

My favorite place to express my thoughts in writing is Google Docs. It is easy; if I connect to the Internet, I can continue accessing and writing using different devices: computer, laptop and even my mobile phone.

Tip #3: Grammar Check

Importance of proper grammar in writing

Proper grammar is fundamental to clear and effective writing. It helps convey your ideas accurately and makes your writing easy to understand. Misunderstandings and confusion can often arise from grammatical errors.

Tools and resources for grammar checking

There are many online tools and resources available that can help you check and improve your grammar. Grammar checkers like Grammarly, Gingko, or Hemingway Editor (to name a few) can detect your grammar mistakes and provide suggestions for correction. Additionally, grammar books and websites can serve as handy references.

Tip #4: Expand Your Vocabulary

Why a large vocabulary helps improving your English writing

A rich vocabulary lets you express your thoughts and ideas more precisely and vividly. It makes your writing more engaging and interesting to read. Additionally, knowing various words can help you avoid repetition in your writing.

Tips for learning new words

Remember to note new words you come across while reading or speaking. Look up their meanings and try to use them in your writing. You can also use flashcards, word games, or vocabulary apps to learn new words.

Tip #5: Implement Feedback

The value of feedback in writing improvement

Feedback is an invaluable tool for improving your writing skills. It gives you a fresh perspective on your work and points out areas that need improvement. Feedback can help you see your work from a reader’s perspective and make necessary adjustments.

How to ask for and use feedback effectively

Don’t hesitate to ask for feedback from friends, teachers, or native English speakers. Be open to constructive criticism and willing to make changes based on the feedback. Remember, the goal is to improve your writing, not to defend it.

Tip #6: Edit and Revise

Explanation of the importance of editing and revising

Editing and revising are integral parts of the writing process. They involve reviewing your draft, checking for errors, and making necessary modifications to improve clarity, coherence, and correctness. A well-edited piece of writing reflects your attention to detail and commitment to quality.

Steps to effective editing and revising

Start by taking a break after you finish writing, so you can look at your work with fresh eyes. Then, read your draft aloud to spot awkward sentences or phrases. Check for grammar, spelling, and punctuation errors, and ensure that your text is clear, concise, and coherent. Finally, ask someone else to proofread your work for a fresh perspective.

Tip #7: Practice Formal Writing

Importance of formal writing practice

Formal writing differs from informal writing in its use of language, structure, and tone. Practicing formal writing helps you learn to present your ideas professionally, respectfully, and clearly, which is essential in academic and professional settings.

Ways to practice formal writing

Try writing essays, reports, or letters on various topics. Make sure to use proper grammar, punctuation, and formal language. Avoid using contractions, colloquialisms, or slang. Also, ensure that your writing is structured logically and clearly.

Tip #8: Use Online Learning Platforms

Benefits of online learning platforms

Online learning platforms offer many resources to improve your English writing skills. They provide interactive lessons, exercises, quizzes, and more, which make learning engaging and fun. Additionally, they allow you to learn at your own pace and convenience.

Recommendations for platforms to use

Platforms such as Coursera, Udemy, Khan Academy, and Duolingo offer English grammar, vocabulary, and writing courses. Choose a course that suits your skill level and learning goals.

Tip #9: Join a Writing Community

How a writing community can help improve your skills

A writing community provides a supportive environment where you can share your work, receive feedback, learn from others, and get motivated. It provides a platform to explore new ideas, techniques, and perspectives, enriching your writing experience.

Suggestions for finding a writing community

You can join local writing groups or online communities like Writer’s Digest, Scribophile, or the Reddit writing community. Participate actively in discussions, share your work, and don’t hesitate to ask for feedback.

Tip #10: Stay Patient and Persistent

Why patience and persistence are key in writing improvement

Improving your English writing skills is a gradual process. Small habits lead to big changes. It requires consistent effort, patience, and persistence. Remember that every great writer starts somewhere and improves over time. So don’t get disheartened by initial struggles or mistakes. Learn from them and keep going.

Tips for staying motivated during the process

Set realistic goals for yourself and celebrate small victories. Keep track of your progress and reward yourself for improvements. Surround yourself with inspiring and supportive people. And most importantly, enjoy the process of learning and growing.


Summary of tips for improving English writing proficiency

To recap, improving your English writing proficiency involves regular reading and writing, proper grammar checking, vocabulary expansion, feedback implementation, diligent editing and revising, practicing formal writing, online learning platforms, joining a writing community, and staying patient and persistent.

Remember, the journey of improving your English writing skills is a marathon, not a sprint. Enjoy the learning process and celebrate your progress along the way!

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