Writing is a skill that requires a lot of practice to perfect. To some, it comes naturally, only requiring little practice. For others, putting thoughts into words is a little more challenging. If you want to improve your writing skills, are some strategies that might help.

  1. Improving learning and active thinking

There’s no doubt that learners are required to develop critical thinking during their learning journey. Not only will it help them become better thinkers but a more fulfilled member of society having the necessary skills and tools to become productive and make the right decisions. Developing a mind that is active and thinks critically requires concepts that push students to solve problems, gather and analyze the available data, offer hypotheses, and create their own arguments. Many writing activities all exercise many of these concepts to some capacity. It is through writing that students practice how they formulate their own opinions and craft arguments for each point to be shared with others.

  1. Helping to explore

There is a difference between asking a question and exploring. In my opinion, exploring is more expansive, with asking questions only a small part of it; exploring means clarifying information, exploring new ideas, reflecting on learning, and looking for patterns and connections across different theories and practices. All these are the goals of exploratory writing. This is best exemplified in journalistic writing where writers expand on a topic, gather data about it, present and clarify issues, and offer feedback or possible solutions. Throughout the process, students are confronted with different concepts that they will have to reflect upon, deciding if it fits within their value system or contradicts it.

  1. Learning to explain

We could group this skill together with critical thinking but I think it deserves its own bullet point because one way to gauge one’s understanding of a topic or concept is their ability to explain it effectively to an audience. There are many skills that involve this exercise, all rooted in critical thinking. In order to explain well, you need to be adept at gathering data and sifting through that data to find the relevant ones. You also need to be able to organize the data in such a way that it is comprehensible to the reader, the same way does. And last, you often include forecasting into an explanation, something that you naturally come up with after seeing all the available information. You do all these while selecting the right words, phrases, and idioms that your audience is familiar with to keep them engaged.

  1. Reflection

Unlike exploring or explaining, reflection requires a lot more active thinking and introspection. And while it still requires the gathering and analysis of data, the focus is more on the writer rather than the information presented. Reflection enables writers to look deeper into their thoughts, values, and morals and related it back to the concept they just came across. It requires a deep level of self-understanding, something not everyone is accustomed to. Looking inwards and seeing how information or a new idea affects their thoughts and feelings is not something that can easily be done and takes time to perfect and even apply on a daily basis.

  1. Brainstorming

Most of the points I’ve laid out previously all points to strategies that require writers to write longer content as a means to practice the skill. But practicing to become an effective writer using phrases and words are just as effective. Brainstorming is usually the practice of generating ideas using certain words, usually action words. It has many applications which also include writing. Brainstorming can be used by writers to generate a new topic or an angle for a given topic. It can be used to organize thoughts and even give writers an idea of the important words they should incorporate into the narrative.

  1. Embracing draft

A well-hidden yet certainly obvious way that writers come up with their best ideas and content is through draft writing. Most often than not, the articles and blog posts published online aren’t written in one sitting. In most cases, it has undergone a number of revisions before it’s published. And while many might consider the ability to write a perfectly crafted paper in one go, without any revisions necessary, draft writing is still considered to be a standard, one that enables writers to catch mistakes or clarify ideas that readers might find confusing. Writers that practice this strategy find themselves becoming more effective and credible writers for having gone through their work over and over again looking for mistakes before it’s fit for the audience’s eyes.

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