help.....

my writing needs improvment and I was wondering what I can do to improve it?


There are many good things you can do to improve your writing. Here are some suggestions:

1. Keep a journal. This is not a diary, but a journal. The difference is that in a journal you focus on one topic for each entry. Use a spiral notebook, and put a date at the top of each entry. Try to write at least a page per topic. If you can't think of something to write about, find a quotation to get you started. You can find good ones at http://www.quoteland.com and click on Quotations by Topic. When you write a journal entry, you don't worry about spelling or punctuation. The whole point is to get your ideas going, to become comfortable with putting your ideas on paper without worrying about the mechanics.

2. Learn to follow the writing process when you are writing essays or other types of assignments. This is a good site to help with the process steps: http://www.angelfire.com/wi/writingprocess/

3. Make sure you differentiate between the first few steps of the writing process (brainstorming, planning, rough draft writing) and the revising/editing, etc., steps. The first part is most important (don't skip any of these steps) because that's when you get your ideas down on paper. The rest of it is all clean-up!

4. Have some good websites and/or a good English handbook available for when you have questions about anything regarding grammar, usage, sentence structure, citations, etc. Here are a few websites:

http://leo.stcloudstate.edu/catalogue.html

http://grammar.ccc.commnet.edu/grammar/

http://www.powa.org/

http://owl.english.purdue.edu/handouts/index2.html

http://nutsandbolts.washcoll.edu/
Use the list on the left as a table of contents.

http://www.arts.uottawa.ca/writcent/
Use the Hypergrammar and the English writing resources links at the upper left for access to excellent references and other places to get help.

Good English handbooks are available in bookstores. My favorites are A Writer's Reference by Diana Hacker and the MLA Handbook (sixth edition) by Joseph Gibaldi.

5. Practice, practice, practice.

And please feel free to post your questions here -- of all types --
... to make sure you understand the assignment
... to get feedback on your ideas when you are still in the brainstorming and planning stages
... to get feedback on your rough drafts and/or proofreading on your revised drafts

=)

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