In today’s world where anyone can be their own publisher and can easily publish a book on Kindle or write their own blogs, developing writing skills has become an integral part of business as well as for personal satisfaction. Writing allows us to express our thoughts and opinions in a more organized and clear way which can reach a larger audience than face-to-face or telephonic communication. With content writing becoming a strong marketing skill, many business people have started dabbling with writing, even though they might not be aware of the proper methods of writing skills.
The Different Faces of Writing
One needs basic writing skills to write for various writing forms such as:
Writing a report
Writing a blog
Writing an application for a job
Writing your resume
Writing a grant application
Writing a press release
Writing for study purposes
What are Writing Skills?
Writing skills are how you express your ideas and thoughts in a written form. Employers in any industry, as well as students, need to learn basic writing skills to communicate what they want to say, in a written form. If you write an email, an ad, a document well enough, then you can influence customers to buy a product or service or convince investors to invest in your ventures.
Writing skills definition and writing skills meaning changes as per the situation and purpose of writing. One needs to have technical knowledge about different writing conventions, formats, and style guides for different types of writing. An important component of writing skills is to understand what tone of the text is required for a given situation and set the correct tone for impactful writing.
Guide for Structured Writing
Writing might seem like a daunting feat for many who have not been inclined towards it in their lives. So, if you have had difficulty in developing your writing skills, there is good news for you. Most of us can write and have a whole gamut of thoughts in our heads which we want to express. Here, we tell you how to improve writing skills by effectively gathering your rambling thoughts and expressing them interestingly and simply. Here are some of the basic writing steps that you can follow to be a good writer in any genre.
Get your Basics in Place - For good writing, there are a few things that have to be followed else your readers would soon drift away or lose interest. Those basics are:
Correct Grammar - You must pay heed to your sentences as they should be grammatically correct, else, they might not convey what you mean to say. If required, you could brush up on grammar skills with any online tutorials or books.
Good Vocabulary - If you state any idea repetitively using the same words it makes your writing a drab. It is important to enhance your vocabulary and keep several words in hand for describing something.
No Spelling Mistakes - Spelling mistakes are a strict no-no in the writing world. You have many free tools that you could integrate with the platform you are writing on (MS Word or Google docs, etc.) which can do the necessary checks for you.
Appropriate Layout and Organization - When you are building your writing, the concepts should have a proper flow. The headings and subheadings must be organized in such a way that the reader does not have to deal with haphazard ideas spread all over.
Be clear on your Concept - Think about your writing goals and try to explain it to someone. If you can make them understand your purpose of writing, then you have a clear goal. You should do a lot of research on your topic to get all the facts and figures right.
Have Readers Questions in Mind - You will have to think like the readers and anticipate their questions. Your writing must answer those questions.
Keep Things Simple - There is no need to get into too many details of things. This is achieved by organizing your thoughts in advance and jotting them down as points.
Minimize Prepositional Phrases - Prepositional phrases unnecessarily make your writing wordy. Going easy with them and using them sparsely would boost the clarity of your writing.
Remove Filler Words - Some words or phrases can add a flavor or color to your writing but do not overuse them. They would look like clutter.
Use strong words and avoid Adverbs - Suppose you write “extremely funny” and replace it with “hilarious”, you can see how you eliminated extra words, and your writing also looks better. Adverbs are good to use but try to eliminate them when you can, replace them with stronger words, and express the same thought naturally.
Let it be Conversational - Even if you have a rich vocabulary, you need to understand your audience and avoid dropping tough words in your writing. The language should be simple and direct. You can improve your writing by shortening verbs like “I’m” for “I am”, “Won’t” for “WIll not”, etc.
Let your Personality Shine through your writing - If you use such words and phrases that are very typical of you, then try adding them whenever possible. This is a good strategy for informal writing. For formal writing, you must stick to the professional writing format.
Read aloud - If you read your article aloud, you will be able to make out wordy sentences, lack of flow, and any other mistakes that you have made. Then go in and rewrite the choppy or clipped parts.
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FAQs on Steps for Writing
Q1 - Why is it important to have Writing Skills?
Ans 1 - The importance of writing is manifold. For one, you can express yourself to another person even when you are not physically present there. If you are seeking a job, employers will get their first impression from your style of resume writing, cover letters, and email communications. Writing skills demonstrate your professionalism to others as well as your hold on any subject. They are an important part of the business world and can influence others in a way that could help you to excel at work. Writing skills help you maintain clear documentation, accurate communication across all levels and kinds of people you interact with.
Q2 - What are some of the different circumstances when one has to use Writing Skills?
Ans 2 - There are many times when something specific has to be written which requires a particular writing style, some of them are:
Writing for Job Applications - CV or resume writing requires writing a strong cover letter which highlights your main skills.
Writing for Study - As part of the school or college curriculum, it is required to write essays, research proposals, dissertations, thesis, speech, etc. These writings are usually very long and need a lot of research, time, and structure.
Writing at the workplace - If you are a manager or an employee in another capacity at an organization, there are many kinds of letters and emails that you need to formulate. Some of the writing needs in a business environment are business case studies, press releases, executive summary, taking minutes of a meeting, etc.
Q3 - What are the different types of Writing?
Ans 3 - There are mainly 4 styles or types of writings as described below.
Expository - This is the most common style of writing where the writer explains a concept to a large audience. It does not state the opinions of the writer but states facts about a topic that may include statistical evidence. Examples of this type are textbooks, news stories, scientific writing, etc.
Descriptive - This is mostly part of fiction writing. Also, nonfiction writing can adopt this style like memoirs, travel guides, etc. This type of writing tries to paint a pen-picture of a person, place, or thing. It might have metaphors as a means to impress upon various senses like smell, touch, taste, etc. Few forms of this kind of writing are poetry, fictional novels, journals.
Persuasive - This mainly involves academic writing. The author tries to convince the audience about a belief or position. It has biases and opinions of the writer that are backed with reasonings and justifications. Few examples are cover letters, letters of recommendation, review letters, etc.
Narrative - Any long piece of writing would use this form of writing in it; both fiction and nonfiction included. This kind of writing not just imparts information but also tries to create a story around it with characters and settings.