Tips for Writing in English

  1. The first rule of writing is to use the fewest words necessary to say what you want to say. This is a case of “less is more”.Here’s an example of too many words: “Leaving in the early morning, I drove the car seven miles around curves and busy streets, making numerous right and left turns in a lot of traffic, until I parked outside my workplace and went inside.” Here’s a shorter, better way to say the same thing: “I drove to work this morning during rush hour.”
  2. The second rule is that English is a very difficult language to learn, so if your articles come back with a lot of red changes, don’t feel bad; just look at the changes and try to learn from them.There are a lot of rules in English, and even if you learn them all, you will find that there are times when the rules don’t apply, so just realize that it takes time and you will start to get a feel for what sounds right.
  3. In general, you should use more commas. Use them to separate a list of words, phrases or thought. Example: “I bought apples, bread, tomatoes, pasta and wine.” You don’t need a comma in front of “and”.
  4. In text, you spell out numbers one through ten. After that, use numerals: 11, 342, 15, etc.
  5. Don’t use “etc.” in an article. Since “etc.” means something else, describe what that is.
  6. Don’t use & or + for “and”. Symbols do have their place, but in general, it is not in the text of your article.
  7. Avoid the use of “horrible”, “really” and “definitely”. Those words describe extremes and you don’t know if extremes will happen. It’s better to say that results could be unfortunate if a business doesn’t have a security system, rather than state that “you will definitely be sorry” or “that will be really awful”.
  8. Sometimes titles of articles don’t match article contents. Start with a working title of what you plan to write about. Once the article is finished, reread it, and change the title if necessary, so that title and content match.
  9. Long sentences do exist, and can be written properly. However, if you have a single sentence that runs on for four or more lines, chances are it should be broken up into at least two sentences.
  10. Your articles should have a conclusion, which is a short paragraph of two to three sentences that sum up what you just wrote about and why it’s important. A well-known tip for speeches and articles is: 1. Tell people what you’re going to tell them (introduction), 2. thentell them, and finally, 3. tell them what you just told them (conclusion).
  11. The word “the” and its descriptiveare generally overused. For example: “The business that wants to grow should have an up-to-date computer system, because without one, the business may have a hard time reaching the goals the business has set for the business.” Instead, say “The business that wants to grow should have an up-to-date computer system, because without one, it may have a hard time reaching its goals.”
  12. Read as much printed English as you can. This will help you get a good feel for English sentence structure, grammar, and word usage.
  13. Keep practicing! Practice makes perfect.