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Wednesday, February 2, 2011

How to Stop Struggling With English Writing

How to Stop Struggling With English Writing

If you look back at your school years, you’ll realize that you’ve been lead to believe that writing is something special. You’ve been under impression ever since that to write well you need to use very formal and literal language otherwise you just won’t be able to produce anything better than a piece of gibberish.

When you started to learn English you probably took on board the same attitude towards writing. I’m not saying it definitely applies in your situation, but still there’s a big likelihood that your assertion of poor English writing skills is based on nothing more than shifting sand.

It’s something you believe to be true because you can’t write like Shakespeare or Hemingway. In real-life however, normal people aren’t required to produce pieces of literature gems, all you need to do is explain your point clearly on a piece of paper or a computer screen!

And here’s what it all boils down to – to stop struggling with English writing you need to change your mindset first! You have to stop perceiving writing as art or as something that is going to be scrutinized by your teacher. For normal daily situations our English writing needs to be to the point and has to clearly describe the essence of the topic, that’s it.

Also bear in mind that unless you’re writing a novel in English using rich and sophisticated language, you have to avoid using long, difficult words. Don’t fall for the misassumption that native English speakers would think that your English writing skills are poor if you use simple, most commonly used words and phrases to explain your point.

Even native English speakers write the same way, and that there’s absolutely nothing wrong with it! And please don’t get me wrong - I’m not saying you have to neglect grammar and ignore word order in sentences or not use punctuation marks. The point that I’m trying to make here is that you don’t have to make your piece of writing sound like a poem!

Whether you write an e-mail to your English speaking friend on Facebook, or a report for your divisional manager, you have to take it for what it is, don’t be fooled into thinking that you have to write plenty of meaningless sentences just to fill the space and make the text look bigger.

Instead just imagine that you speak to that person. What would you say to them? What is the main topic or the main issue you want to tell that person about? You simply have to put it all down on paper or computer screen – and forget about boring essays you used to write at school just because you had to!

Guest post from English learning enthusiast Robby Kukurs. Robby writes about improving spoken English on his blog EnglishHarmony.com. He also regularly posts videos about improving English fluency on his YouTube channel.

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