BY FREDDIE TUBBS
While learning English is still a popular choice for students and professionals, it is not easy. Writing is particularly difficult for most ESL students as there’s less natural flow to hide mistakes like there is while speaking. If you are listening to someone, you simply have to understand the words. Writing means that you language level can really be scrutinized, and you’re aware of every single grammatical choice you make. It’s also incredibly hard to edit your own work, as spotting mistakes in a language that’s not your mother tongue is always tricky. Fortunately the following online tips can help you write and edit your work effectively, and you’ll see the level of your written English improve massively.
Identify Your Common Mistakes
Pull out all of your old essays and assignments and check through them for any repeated mistakes. You can then clearly see the areas that you need to improve on, and avoid making the same mistakes over and over. Learn from what you’ve already done.
Figure Out Definite Articles
One of the main differences between English and other European languages is the fact that English does not use ‘the’ as often when referring to nouns in sentences. You can really sound more fluent by learning this one aspect of language.
Utilize Online Editing and Writing Resources
When you’re in doubt, there are literally hundreds of online programs that can help you with your work, and provide guidance and assistance with both writing and editing. These are some of the best ones:
- Mywritingway – when you write in another language, you may be able to say what you mean, but it won’t necessarily be the best way to make that point. This tool helps review your sentence structure, adverbs, and weaker vocabulary so you can submit strong work
- Grammarix – as you’re writing, this tool will make suggestions, so you can be confident in the work you’re producing the whole way through the process, rather than spend time making changes when you’re all done
- Oxessays – if you want an expert opinion, you can find a qualified and experienced editor here
- Simplegrad – this is a really awesome tool to measure the level of language you’re using. If you’re an adult looking to use business English, then you can make sure you aren’t writing at a third grade level. It’s a great way to check your writing is appropriate.
- Essayroo – If you really can’t see any mistakes or room for improvement in your own work, then you might want to ask a professional editor or proof reader to have a look at it
- Letsgoandlearn – you may need to monitor your progress on a specific ESL assignment, or you may just need to work on hitting a daily word count as you practice, either way this is a useful tool
- Writingpopulist – without doubt, grammar is the hardest part of learning every language, so having a comprehensive grammar checker such as this one can be super helpful
- Revieweal – this is amazing as it actually has features specifically for ESL students and is equipped to improve your English, rephrase your sentences, and even provides a dictionary
- Ukservicesreviews – if you have an important ESL assignment, it’s far better to not leave anything to chance, and instead ask for feedback or advice from a professional editor here
- Viawriting – there are forums full of professional and experienced writers who are happy to offer advice and support and explain any grammar or structural issues you experience
Find an Editing Process
Whether you decide to check your work line by line, or use a list of common mistakes and check your work thematically, find a routine that works for you.
Use Nouns Instead of Pronouns
While you may want to sound more natural by referring to ‘it’ or ‘them’ or ‘his’ this can actually over complicate your work and make it a lot more confusing that necessary. Instead, just use the noun you’re talking about – you may repeat yourself, but you’ll be understandable.
Ask Friends for Help
Whether you ask native speakers or other learners, a second pair of eyes can always help you pick up on sneaky mistakes and improve the quality of your work.
Practice Makes Perfect
The only real way to improve both your writing and editing is with regular practice. “For some this could mean a couple of hours every day, for some it’s 30 minutes every few days, but however much you can manage will prove to be a huge help, as writing becomes more natural” – explains Robert Carroll, an Educator at Huffingtonpost.
Writing in another language is tough – but hopefully the above tips make it a little easier.