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Writing Advice

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Pick up your Pen!

Or your laptop! Here are some ideas for practising writing and improving your style.

 

What Kind of Writing Should I Practise?

 

1. What you enjoy

It could be essays, stories, emails or a diary. Get a native speaker to check it for you. Keep up your motivation by making writing enjoyable and sharing it so you get feedback.

 

With today's technology, there are more and more ways to communicate. You could try instant messenging, chat rooms, email, text messaging, discussion groups. The list goes on.

Ideas for writing practice at UKStudentLife.com

 

2. What you need for work or study

With practise comes confidence and greater ability.

 

 

 

What Shall I Write About?

 

If you're interested in essays, try our sample questions. If you prefer writing letters or emails, find yourself a penpal (penfriend) or e-pal. It's much easier to write if you have a reason to communicate. I have friends who practise their English by keeping a blog, too. If you write what you enjoy, you will enjoy writing.

 

Express yourself!

Visit Okey-Dokey's Your Views section to send us your thoughts on the current topic

Find a forum to discuss your interests or ask questions about English

 

Penpal websites

friendsabroad.com

newfriends4u.com

penpal.net

penpalworld.com

 

 

Learn by Reading

 

All teachers will tell you that reading is an excellent way to improve writing. However,

 

1. Think about what you're learning

Don't just learn words in isolation. Instead, look at how the writer uses collocations (words that go together well), expressions (such as idioms, and phrases that introduce a sentence) and overall sentence structure.

Study collocations in Okey-Dokey's vocabulary section

 

2. Read actively, not passively

Write down words and expressions that you want to learn. This will help your memory later. As well as writing the meaning, it is useful to copy the whole sentence as an example. For the most important words, check a good dictionary to get more advice about how to use them in writing.

 

3. Categorise the text

Is it formal, informal, humorous, persuasive, neutral, ironic, academic? What are the writer's views, aims and feelings? Now think about how the writer has used language to convey this. This will give you a deeper understanding of written language and help you to communicate more effectively in your writing.

 

 

 

Where Can I Find Texts to Read?

 

Model essays and letters are available in the Okey-Dokey Writing section. Go>

 

Articles and stories for English language learners are available in Okey-Dokey's Reading section. Go>

 

Many large bookshops also have 'readers' - texts designed for students of a particular level, often simpler versions of well-known books and films. Go>

 

Listen and Read. Okey-Dokey has a section with a variety of texts that you can listen to and read at the same time. Go>

 

Film scripts and song lyrics are available in the Reading and Listening sections of Okey-Dokey. Go>

 

Authentic reading materials such as newspaper and magazine articles, encyclopaedias, novels, short stories and poetry can be found in Okey-Dokey's Reading section. Go>

 

 

Master your Tools

 

The following tools are particularly useful when writing in a foreign language:

- A monolingual (English-English) dictionary

- A bilingual dictionary (English-your language)

- A thesaurus

 

Learn how to use these effectively in the Okey-Dokey Study Tools section

 

 

Related Pages

Also on Okey-Dokey:

Listening Advice

Speaking Advice

Reading Advice

Pronunciation Advice

Grammar Advice

Study Tools Advice

Dictionary Skills

 

 

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