As we’ve covered before, a lot of skills will develop only with practice. Writing is no exception. Writing is perhaps one of the skills that needs the most practice. For most people, it is not something they are born good at. While it is not an easy skill to learn, once you get good at it (you never need to master it if you do not want to, though we highly recommend you do), you will have no trouble writing different, even completely unknown, types of texts. For example, if you have never written a short story, but have developed your writing skills, you only need to fit your writing within the framework of the short story. Here, we’ll go over a few different tips to improve your writing with different types of texts.
For most people, when they think of writing in school, the first thing they think of are essays. Now, essays can be complex and difficult to work with depending on your topic. If you have a complex topic, it might need to be broken down into multiple smaller essays before being combined into a larger one. If you are not comfortable with writing a complex essay, we suggest starting with writing the smaller ones. For example, if your essay topic is to compare and contrast the protagonists in two novels, you could start by writing a quick essay on how Protagonist A is similar to Protagonist B and another quick essay on how the two are different. Then, you can combine those two essays into one more complex work. If you have a simpler essay but are still not sure how you can write it, write out a series of paragraphs, then combine them into one. For example, if you are writing about the characteristics of Protagonist A, you can write three paragraphs about Characteristic A, B and C. Then, you just need to add an introduction, a thesis statement, and a conclusion.
If you are asked to write a short story, or you enjoy writing stories, you should try to make every word, every paragraph move the story forward as much as possible. In this case, you do not have hundreds of pages to move the story along, so you will need to be extra selective and careful about which information needs to be included. Short stories, generally, do not have long descriptions of imagery. Instead, they might only hint at some things and allow the reader to fill in the rest. For example, instead of having a long description about it was raining and how the mud was difficult to walk through, a short story might only mention that there was deep mud, assuming the reader will fill in the blanks. In short stories, authors need to be very selective in the amount of details that they give and how much they want readers to extrapolate themselves.
Reading a variety of texts can greatly help you with your writing.
The great thing about poems is that they can be as complex or as simple as you would like to make them (or as your teacher would like you to make them, if it is for an assignment). Poetry gives the most amount of freedom in writing, as there are no set rules. Grammar, spelling, syntax can all be played with more easily in poems than they can in prose.
What it comes down to in the end is, in order to learn to write any style of text, you will need to practise and ask someone to read over your work and give you comments. If you only write, but no one reads it, your writing may not be as clear as you think it is. Having someone else’s feedback can tell you what you need to improve and can help you write even better. The person you choose to provide your writing to for feedback can be someone you think will give you the best advice, or someone you think will be honest with you about your writing. The person you choose can be your friend, parent, teacher, tutor, etc.. Just make sure to ask whether they have time, or if there is another time that is better (e.g. asking your teacher to read your writing around exam time is not a good idea). In short, whichever form of writing you want to (or need to) improve, the only way to do it is to practice. There are no shortcuts to things that are worth doing.
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