Throughout a person’s life, they acquire various skills and talents. Some people may become great painters others may be able to manipulate the digital realm of computers. One of the greatest skills that a person can and should develop is the ability to be an effective writer.
Writing is more than simply touching pen to paper or fingers to keyboard to form letters and words. Being able to write allows a person to convey their thoughts, perspectives, and opinions, forever immortalizing them in record. Classical authors were able to shape the very fabric of society through their novels. Even scientists, whose foundation is in the analytical sphere of knowledge rather than the creative, cannot effectively convey their theories without the ability to organize and publish their work. As such, it is prudent that a person does everything in their power to become an effective writer.
Despite a common misconception, writers are not born. Instead, a person may simply be predisposed to creativity and be more willing to pursue the methods in becoming a better writer. Therefore, a person should never waiver in their determination to attain this skill.
1. Read a Book, Read Lots of Books
One of the best, if not the best, methods of becoming an effective writer is to be an avid reader. By reading literature, a person will get the feel of the writing style of the author. Take for example a book like, “The Picture of Dorian Gray”. Oscar Wilde is an extraordinary author and in his book, Wilde demonstrates a unique control of the English language and offers the reader a prime example of character development. Even if we bypass classic literature, we can look at authors like J.K Rowling. The Harry Potter series is one of the best pieces of literature to be written in this century. J.K Rowling brings her imagination to life in the text of the novels through the use of vivid imagery, excellent character development, and an unobstructed flow of the plot. Learning how to appreciate literature is a tool that can be more helpful to some than memorizing grammar rules. Reading allows a person to see and become accustomed to the various sentence structures used by authors, even giving a person the ability to write by ear.
If you go into any college introductory English class, chances are that you will encounter the topic of rhetoric. Rhetoric is the use of language to be persuasive and argumentative. Generally, the written structure of rhetoric is broken up into five main sections; introduction, your argument, opposing argument, reaffirming your position and attacking the opposing argument, and conclusion. This is a useful tool to any person that is looking to write opinion pieces, articles, and persuasive papers. In fact, by learning how to effectively argue with rhetoric, you can even employ it in verbal communication.
3. Open Your Eyes
Writing about topics that interest you is a much easier task than forcing yourself to plow through an essay on a subject you detest. Whenever you approach a topic, always look for that small grain of interest. Or you may choose to tailor the topic to your own interest. For Example, you may hate politics, but you like issues that concern your local community. It would make the writing much more interesting if you would write about how a certain law or politician is affecting your community. Therefore, try to avoid looking at topic based writing as a linear assignment. Be creative and have fun.
4. Get Feedback
This is always a function that people tend to avoid. What if someone hates what you wrote? What if you made a lot of mistakes? What if you embarrassed yourself? All of these questions are standing in the way of you becoming a better writer. If you are nervous about anonymous feedback, feel free to ask a friend or if you are at college, stop by a writing center for help. Feedback is especially useful when you are writing topic specific papers because you need to be able to effectively inform a person of the topic and convey your position.
5. Write, Write, and Continue Writing
Reading will give you a handle on writing styles of other authors. Writing will give you a handle on your own writing style. Therefore, as with the advice to read continuously, you should be writing more than several times a week. Your prose does not necessarily have to be about anything important. The point is to get yourself used to committing your thoughts to paper. With enough practice, writing will become an automatic activity.By employing these five simple tools, you will be able to experience growth as a writer. Tools like grammar, transitions, and other such technical elements are only useful if you have something to use them on. They won’t help you develop your thoughts, creativity, and style. However, if you use the tools I have given you to make writing a regular part of your life, then you will be able to not only write effectively, but improve your overall communication skills.
Labels: 5 Easy Steps to Become an Effective Writer