How To Improve Essay Writing Skills

The blinking cursor of a blank page is a considerable foe, even for the most experienced writers.Before putting pen to proverbial paper, sketch out an outline of what you plan to write.A simple framework of which sections should appear in a particular order, along with a few sentences about what each section contains, may be enough.

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Find a handful of recent blog posts you really like, then print them out.

Next, just like your high school English teacher did, take a red pen and highlight things you liked: certain sentences, turns of phrase, even entire paragraphs.

You don’t need to have an unfinished novel hidden away in your desk drawer to join a workshop.

These days, content marketing meet-ups and professional development groups are becoming wildly popular.

Before we go any further, a disclaimer – imitation is not the same as plagiarism. Identify what it is you enjoy about their work, and see if you can use it to improve your writing skills.

Does a writer you like use humor to spice up dry topics? Do they use pop culture references to make their work entertaining useful? When I first started writing, I imitated some of my favorite nonfiction writers and essayists, such as Joan Didion, Truman Capote and Bill Bryson.For quick and easy online resources, bookmark Grammar Girl and, of course, Merriam Webster.If you want to get better at something, you have to practice – and writing is no exception!Nothing strikes fear into the heart of a marketer quite like being asked to write a blog post.Some marketers would rather wrestle with pivot tables (or grizzly bears) for days on end than write a blog post – but why?Examine why you like these elements, and see if there are any common threads in your favored reading material.See how writers take one subject and transition into another. Let’s take a look at a particularly powerful (and memorable piece) from Copyblogger that serves as a great example of this. The pacing is excellent, it grabs your attention, and best of all, it keeps you reading.This piece was first published back in June, and I still remember it.Read the full post here, and see how Morris masterfully tells the story of a band named Death and how this relates to writing content. Just as you probably have a list of blogs you read often, you’ll likely also read the same writers on a regular basis.If you want to improve your writing skills, writing on a regular basis will not only diminish your fear of the blank page (or blinking cursor), it will also help you develop a unique style. I don’t just mean blog posts, either – diversify your reading material.Expand your horizons to more challenging material than you typically read, and pay attention to sentence structure, word choice, and how the material flows.

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