Below is a guest post from Leon Collier. Leon writes academic articles and below is his advice on how to write well for non-native English speakers.
Take a look and take some notes!
Writing is part of everyone’s life. When you are a student, you need to write essays and assignments on a given topic. Your thesis or dissertation are written pieces of text and you need these to graduate. Thanks to the evolution of the internet and the development of societies, youngsters now have the possibility to apply for scholarships and study in a foreign country.
And when you are not a native English speaker, this might seem difficult at the beginning. People who are not native speakers always compare with native speakers and feel that they will never be as good as they are. But this should not be an obstacle that stops you. There are many guides online that can help you describe a picture or write an essay. This article will help you write good articles when you are not a native speaker.
Enlarge Your Vocabulary
People who are not English native speakers are characterized by the fact that their vocabulary is quite limited, especially at the beginning. Many of them feel that this is wrong, but it is in fact natural. You are learning a new language, so you can learn new things every day. It is therefore important to enlarge your vocabulary and use different words in your articles. Avoid using the same words all over again because they will lose their meaning. Instead, use a thesaurus and search for synonyms.
Choose one synonym from the list to replace your original word and check its meaning in the dictionary. This will allow you to decide if it fits the context, but also enlarge your vocabulary. You can also use the Oxford Online Collocation Vocabulary to see if two words go well together. The English language has some exceptions from the rules, as is the case with probably every other language. For example, you can say a beautiful girl, but the boy is handsome.
Use Writing Tools
Another way to write good articles when you’re not a native speaker is to make wise use of the tools that improve your writing. If you wanted to do this a couple of years ago, you would have had no choice. But nowadays, thanks to the evolution of technology and the internet, you can download or use software programs that help you improve your writing.
For example, you can use Grammarly to check your article. Grammarly will spot grammar and spelling mistakes, and also make clarity and engagement suggestions. This will help you deliver grammatically correct articles and it will also help you learn the rules of English grammar. Over time, you will make fewer and fewer mistakes. Apart from Grammarly, you can use HemingwayApp. It underlies the sentences that are too long and difficult to understand. It makes suggestions for replacing some words or eliminating adverbs. They analyze the text based on the writing style of Ernest Hemingway, who mainly wrote short sentences.
One of the best and most enjoyable ways to improve your English writing is to start reading books in English. This will help you learn new words, but you will also see how different words or idioms are used in a sentence. Reading books already comes with great added value as you enter a new universe and have contact with new ideas.
If you love reading and it is one of your passions, you can choose any book genre you love. There can be self-development, horror, SF, or any other genre.
At the same time, you can choose to read books that help you improve your writing, such as The Elements of Style by William Strunk Jr and E.B. White. In this book which has been written as a writing guide, the authors aim to uncover some of the secrets of the English language and its writing. Even though it was originally written for native speakers, it turns out it is more useful to non-native speakers. Apart from these, you can surely find more books about creative writing that will develop your knowledge and your skills.
Join a Writers’ Group
Nowadays, it is easier to connect with like-minded people from all corners of the world. All you need is a good connection to the internet and a Facebook group. Befriending like-minded people will help you improve your writing as a non-native English speaker. In these groups, they discuss one of the main topics concerning the language.
Experienced writers will share tips and tricks on how to improve your writing skills. At the same time, you can ask them for a piece of advice or feedback on your work. You can get inspired by their success and set similar goals for yourself too. These are some of the most valuable help you will get. Joining a writers’ group on Facebook, Reddit, or any other platform will boost your skills and improve your writing.
Writing good articles in English when it is not your native language can seem daunting at the beginning. But it is not impossible. You only need motivation, dedication, perseverance, and a few tips and tricks to help you get started. Aside from practice, there are a few tools you can use to improve your English writing skills. Some of them will check your texts for grammar and spelling errors and suggest word replacements.
Anytime you write an article, look for synonyms for your most used words to avoid overusing them and cutting down their meaning. Read books in English to enlarge your vocabulary and see how different words and idioms are used. Join a writers’ group and connect with like-minded people. Share your experience, ask for feedback, tips, and tricks, and then implement them. Now, you are on the road to writing good articles in English even though it is not your mother tongue.
Bio lines: Leon Collier is a blogger and academic writer from the UK who works with essay writers on college paper reviews. He likes trying new subjects and is always focused on proving his worth as a writer in new and challenging writing areas. His hobbies are reading books and playing tabletop games with his friends. You can reach him via Twitter @LeonCollier12.