Language acquisition is done through the combination of four skills such as reading, writing, speaking, listening and a good command of grammar and vocabulary items. However, one must also pay particular attention to the proper development of sub-skills laying at the basis of this or that main skill. In this article, we will give some tips on the improvement of some crucial sub-skills in order to have an appropriate level of writing work. 

1. Brainstorming 

Brainstorming is one of the essential sub-skills necessary not only in developing speaking but also in writing. It helps to generate ample ideas later to be structured into a piece of writing. Here is a range of some techniques which will help to improve brainstorming skills in writing

— Freewriting is when someone writes freely what comes to mind without worrying about grammar, punctuation or making sense. You can take five to ten minutes to write whatever comes to your mind about your topic or paper. Here is an example of how this technique works. It is a piece of freewriting about  whether governments should spend enormous amounts of money on space explorations or should save the planet.

What about spending money on space explorations? This is crucial for the development of science. Besides, it will give people chance to live on another planet in case the Earth is lost for humans forever. However, there is much more sense in developing life on our planet by planting more trees, taking better care of the nature, reducing the level of pollution. People will be able to live happily on their own planet rather than seek new place to live. Space explorations are important but the amount of money spent on them must be lessened.

Listing is when you freely write down all ideas in the order which they occur to you. Unlike freewriting, this technique requires the writer to record only ideas and phrases. Later all the mentioned items can be put into sentences and paragraphs. If we take the topic of advertising, the list may look like this.

  • Catchy
  • Motion
  • bright
  • Hoardings
  • Radio/TV ads
  • Editorials
  • Dynamic
  • Campaigns
  • Appealing music

— Clustering is also known as idea mapping. This technique explores the relationship between ideas.  If you have run out of ideas on a subject or topic, write down the subject in the centre of a page and circle it. Think of an idea that relates to the subject and jot it down on your page. Link the idea to the central subject. Think of another idea that relates to the new idea you just created. Now you can visually see a web of ideas that relate to your main subject. Identify clusters of ideas that interest you and use the key terms you attached to them as the starting points for your writing. Here is an example of a clustering about travelling mishaps.

You can read more on the brainstorming technique in this article. 

2. Proofreading

— Take time-off after you finish writing. You can do any daily routine activity not connected with the writing. When you get back to the piece of writing you will notice mistakes, errors, typos with more ease because you will be reading what is actually written rather than just remembering what you have intended to write.

— Print it out or change the font. When you print the document or change the format of the margins or the font, the text looks less similar to the previous one and as a result, you read more into it rather than just start skimming.  

— Read your work aloud since it will help you find sentences which are hard to understand or the wording is confusing. If you spot sentences where you need to stop and breathe in the middle of the sentence so they are long sentences and need to be rewritten. 

— Check out the writing with Grammarly’s online writing app which not only checks the spelling and grammar but also suggests style and vocabulary improvements. You can create a free account and upload a document, or you can download the free Grammarly browser extension, which will correct your spelling and grammar whenever you write something online.

3. Note-taking

Note-taking will improve your active listening, comprehension of material, and retention. It will help you better remember what you hear and see. Good note-taking will also help you improve writing skills in terms of differentiating between main and secondary ideas.

We will write about various note-taking types and how they can be used in our further articles. Subscribe not to miss. Stay tuned!

With the knowledge of the given sub-skills, any learner will benefit in terms of better organizing his piece of writing.

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