Excellent writing ability is a highly desired and marketable skill. Writing assignments, research papers, journal articles, blog posts, and even text messages require a firm understanding of the written word. Improving your writing ability can help you in many different areas of your life where being misunderstood could be disastrous. For example, if you are a student, learning to write well will help you excel academically.
Becoming a better writer could also help you communicate more efficiently at the office. In a busy workplace, written communication such as reports, emails, presentations, and memos are sent and received on a daily basis. Clear, quality writing is necessary to ensure peak workplace productivity and avoid miscommunication.
If you possess an entrepreneurial spirit, perhaps you’d be interested in using writing to generate extra income. In a time where digital media marketing is flourishing, many emerging writers are finding work as social media managers, captioners, bloggers, and online writing tutors. The market for digital writers is growing quickly, with many companies interested in writers who will work remotely. There are many ways that one can enhance their natural writing ability, but one of the quickest and most effective methods is by becoming a voracious reader. In this post, we are going to give you 5 effective reading tips that will help you become a better writer, so read on!
Make the most of your reading now with Markup.
5 Effective Reading Tips to Improve Your Writing Skills
1. Read and Learn From Good Writing
One of the best ways to produce good writing is by reading good writing. Thanks to the internet, interested writers can share their work with hundreds or even thousands of readers all across the globe. Information can be sent and received with just a few keystrokes. Of course, while the free and plentiful exchange of creativity and ideas is a good thing, there is a caveat. Because anyone can post whatever they want on the internet, many sites are flooded with unresearched, poorly edited content. As writers, it’s important that you know how to spot a poorly written article.
Source: the guardian
As a beginning writer looking to improve your skill, you want to be reading only high-quality, trustworthy books, articles, and web pages. To determine whether or not a source is credible, first look for citations. Does the author reference other sources? If so, that’s a good sign they have done their research. Citations are also good for you, as they provide you with more reading material. Another important thing to look for is proper grammar, punctuation, and organization. If the article has many misspelled words and improper punctuation, that is a good indicator that you should stay away. You also want to be wary of authors who make a lot of broad claims without backing them up with tangible evidence.
2. Skip Irrelevant Sections
If you are a student, you may be required to read a large amount of text in a short period of time. To make the process more efficient and save yourself some time, one strategy is to skip sections of longer publications and only read the material that is relevant to you. If you are reading a book, take advantage of the table of contents and skip the irrelevant sections. When it comes to longer texts, there are text summarizers that can help you get to the core messages quickly.
Source: Class Tech Tips
With Markup, you can generate an Auto Summary to quickly grasp the main message of an article with your mobile or desktop app. Then you can go through the article and read only the most important sections.
3. Explore Various Genres and Writing Style
In writing, there are many different styles and genres. Some examples of different genres include marketing textbooks, academic writing, fiction novels, autobiographies, and more. Understanding what makes one genre distinct from another is an important skill for writers to have. For example, memorizing a book on writing articles won’t be exceptionally helpful in a creative writing class. Naturally, one way of learning about the different types of writing is by reading many different kinds of writing. By exploring different genres and writing styles, you will begin to learn the structure, word choice, and conventions that make each genre and writing style unique. It’s important to read outside of your comfort zone and explore reading material you wouldn’t normally pay attention to. This is how you grow as a reader.
4. Think Critically
As readers, it’s important that we think critically about the media that we consume. In a market saturated with untrustworthy and biased information, it’s vital that we learn how to identify good sources. Luckily, reading is a great way to train your critical eye. While reading the work of famous authors, you have the opportunity to integrate your own understanding with the material. Do you agree with their argument? Why or why not? These are important questions to ask in order to develop sharp critical thinking skills.
As human beings, we are naturally flawed. Even the most intelligent minds among us sometimes get it wrong. It’s important that we learn how to challenge ideas. Makeup has a useful annotation feature that allows users to instantly note their thoughts or questions while reading. Then, when you finish reading, you can go back through your annotations and review them. Through this process, you will develop the critical thinking skills necessary for developing better quality writing.
5. Start a Commonplace Book
One way of using highlights and annotations to improve your writing ability is by starting a commonplace book. A commonplace book is a place where readers can compile knowledge, usually by writing information down into a book. Examples of commonplace book entries include quotes, anecdotes, personal observations, song lyrics, movies, and anything else that you might want to return to later. While commonplace books are traditionally physical, these books can take up a lot of unnecessary space and become bothersome to carry around.
With Markup, users can create their own digital commonplace books. With the annotation feature, you can save snippets of information into the app along with your thoughts and questions. Because almost everyone carries a smartphone around nowadays, these digital commonplace books can be easily shown off to friends and family. To keep your digital commonplace book organized, Markup has a robust file management system. This is more efficient than keeping a physical commonplace book, which can easily become messy or misplaced.
In order to become an excellent writer, you must first become an insatiable reader. Remember, though, you don’t want to just read through the text; engage thoughtfully with the material and pursue any lingering thoughts and questions you might have. Exercise your critical eye by looking for signs of bias or unprofessionalism in your reading material. Most importantly, note down your thoughts, the words that are beautifully used, or quotes that you like in your commonplace book, and use it as a writing dictionary. Whenever you encounter writer’s block or cannot come up with certain words or ways of describing something, just use your commonplace book. Soon, you will see advancement in your skill as a writer.
If you are tired of using paper and pens, try Markup now to start building your digital commonplace book. Markup can automatically synchronize all your highlights and annotations to different devices. So you can read and access your commonplace book anytime, anywhere!