It’s Wednesday, and what better way to enjoy it than sharing some writing tips.
Whether you are unsure where to start, curious about where that comma should go, or just want some advice, this series will provide three writing tips every Wednesday.
Make use of dot points
Struggling to obtain a flow in your writing? Or have so many ideas that you just need to write them all down? Dot points can become your new best friend.
Each point only needs as little as a few words to help you pen down all your ideas.
If you are trying to write a story or an assessment piece, these quick reference points will help you to remember what it was that you had planned to talk about. And as new ideas spring to mind, you can easily add to your list.
If you are trying to write a short piece but just can’t seem to get a good flow going, dot points can help here too. You have the ability to note throughout the piece what areas appear to be lacking content and what content would help improve the flow.
A trick that I personally use is to dot point what information needs to be in each section. That way when writing each piece I have a better understanding of what information needs to be there.
However, if you are editing a piece of work and only want to highlight where you think the flow is being disconnected, I would personally recommend other methods. Highlighting and writing in a different colour can also be an effective method, and in some cases a better one.
Don’t rely on spell-check
With spell-check embedded in pretty much everything, many people rely solely on it to fix their mistakes.
This is a mistake.
Although spell-check does spot those errors you otherwise did not recognise, it can also miss a lot. For instance, if you spelt a wrong word but spelt it correctly, there is a high chance your spell-check won’t pick up on it.
It could be something as small as spelling ‘meet’ instead of ‘meat’ or spelling a completely different word. Handing in a resume to a job with such a mistake, for instance, may affect their opinion on hiring you.
Although there are plenty of websites and applications that identify more of these errors for you, these too can miss some or even create new ones.
Having a dictionary on hand is always the best way to go. A quick look through will help determine the correct spelling. Additionally, having this on hand would come in use when you need to make sure that the word you are using actually means what you think it does.
Just remember, it is always better to proof-read your work before you submit it. There is one more thing that you should do as well before submitting it.
Have someone else read it
This is one of my golden rules when it comes to editing my work. It is near impossible to identify every error of your own work.
Always have someone else read through it. Even if it is a text-to-speech software, you will always benefit greatly from it.
This way you will hear what you actually wrote, not what you think you wrote.
And those are my three tips for this week. I hope these were as helpful to you as they have been for me.