How to Develop Your English Writing Skills
  • 3-minute read
  • 12th November 2022

How to Develop Your English Writing Skills

Learning English as a second language isn’t always easy. Luckily, there are plenty of resources out there to help you as you progress.

But if you already know the basics, how can you improve the way you write in English? Read on to learn our 5 top tips for developing your English skills as an ESL writer.

1. Keep Reference Texts on Hand

It’s a good idea to have an English dictionary, thesaurus, or grammar guide available as you write. This way, you can immediately look up any words that you struggle with while also gaining a better understanding of their meanings and uses.

These resources might be physical or digital. Some good online English reference materials include:

●  The Cambridge Dictionary

●  Merriam-Webster’s online dictionary and thesaurus

●  The Visual Dictionary



You can also check out some of our own resources, like our Writing Tips!

2. Read Widely and Often

Reading regularly in English will help you get a feel for how the language works and how you can improve your own writing. As you read, pay close attention to:

●  Word choice and spelling

●  Grammar

●  Word order

Keep a notebook or app nearby as you read so that you can write down any words, concepts, or sentence structures that you don’t understand. You should also read a variety of different materials, from novels to news articles.

This will help you expand your knowledge of English across different subjects, and you’ll start noticing how different tones, styles, and vocabularies are used. You can then apply these insights to your own writing.

3. Exercise Your Grammar

Grammar can be tricky enough in your first language, let alone a second one! That’s why it’s important to practice your English grammar skills as often as possible.

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If you’re not sure where to start, think about any grammar issues that frequently trip you up. Some common grammar mistakes ESL writers make include:

●  Using the wrong form of a verb

I am to go.
I am going.

●  Mixing up prepositions

I went at school.
I went to school.

●  Forgetting subject–verb agreement

The students at school is nice.
The students at school are nice.

●  Writing in multiple tenses

Yesterday I will get home late.
Yesterday I got home late.

Once you’ve identified the parts of grammar you struggle with, you can review these rules and practice them. Quiz yourself on them or ask others to help!

4. Write for Fun

Writing about something you enjoy can make improving your English more fun. It will also encourage you to work on your writing skills more often!

Why not try writing:

●  A daily diary

●  A review of your favorite book or film

●  A letter to a friend

●  A short story

If you make writing in English something you can look forward to and practice daily, you’ll start to see an improvement in your skills.

5. Have Someone Check Your Work

When you’ve written something in English, find someone with a strong grasp of the language to look over your work for you. They should be able to identify any errors you’ve made and give you advice on how to avoid mistakes in the future.

You could ask a teacher or a native speaker to check your writing. Or you could reach out to a proofreader. Our team of editors offers services tailored specifically for ESL writers. We’ll even proofread your first 500 words for free!

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