How to upgrade your writing?

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Have you been wondering how to take your writing to the next level? What next level? I mean the situation in which everything seems to be fine with your text, grammar is correct, paragraphs clearly divided, task achieved but you have this feeling that something is missing. You’d like to use more sophisticated words, more advanced grammar and make the text sound more…serious, formal?

My answer to that is try doing it step by step.

STEP 1

VOCABULARY

Try using synonyms wherever possible instead of repeating the same word in the text many times, e.g. social media, social networks, networking platforms, social sites, social networking websites.

Exchange common words with their more sophisticated synonyms wherever possible, e.g. good – positive, appropriate, attractive, beneficial, desirable, effective, enjoyable, pleasant, suitable, virtuous.

STEP 2

GRAMMAR

Introduce complex sentences instead of simple ones, e.g.

SIMPLE SENTENCES: This solution has many pluses. It has also minuses.

COMPLEX SENTENCE: Although the solution has some advantages, it is also characterised by numerous drawbacks.

Try using inversion, e.g. Not only does the solution have some advantages, but it is also characterised by numerous drawbacks.

Conditional sentences also make the text more varied, e.g. If the issue in question is not addressed immediately, it may have serious consequences for security in the near future.

Passive voice will always make your text more formal: Having analysed the situation, it has been established that the accident was caused by the misunderstanding of the instruction which was delivered hastily.

Indirect questions and requests are not only more formal but also polite e.g. I would like to know what time the exam begins.; Could you please provide me with the information regarding the time of the exam?

STEP 3

COHERENCE (logic) AND COHESION (structure)

Make sure the paragraphs and ideas in your text are connected with each other.

Use linking words to show the logical connection with the ideas in your text. e.g. therefore, as result, consequently.

Use linking and sequencing words to show the connection between the paragraphs. e.g. firstly, secondly, finally, taking the above information into consideration, having analysed the above mentioned facts.

Use reference words clearly, for example, personal pronouns (it, they), possessive pronouns (its, their), demonstratives (this, that, these, those, such), comparatives (another, other, both, similar, the same, better, more, earlier, later, previous, subsequent), the definite article “the (to refer back to something mentioned earlier).

STEP 4

STYLE

Make your language objective and impersonal, e.g.

It seems that…,

It is believed that…,

It has been established that…,

It is suggested…,

There are…,

One (used instead of you or they) e.g. One may be considered a candidate for this position if they fulfil the following requirements.

Introducing those elements into your text should make it easy to follow and avoid oversimplicity without becoming unreadable by introducing too much of bombastic language.

STEP 5

READ, WATCH and LISTEN to original English material to pool natural vocabulary, grammar and language specificity.

Would you like to take your writing to the next level with me? Check out the StanagExpert Writing Feedback Online Course. Click below.

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