How to improve your writing skills ?

Communication skills are more important than ever, but what if your grammar doesn’t quite make the grade?

Fifty years ago, you would’ve walked over to your coworker’s desk or called up to the second floor to ask a question. Now, whether your coworkers are in the next cube or half a world away, it’s standard practice to email, instant message, or text them.

This shift in basic communication has made writing skills crucial to being listened to.
No matter what format your written communication takes, it needs to be clear and concise. Misunderstandings can lead to costly mistakes. Given that the average professional sends and receives more than100 emails a day, no one has time to read rambling messages that don’t get to the point quickly.

We could all use a little refresher on our business writing skills. And thanks to a wealth of free classes and resources online, we can improve our grammar and writing from the comfort of our own desk chairs — without spending a dime.

Tips to improve your writing

1. Develop a daily writing habit.

Practice makes perfect, so set aside just 10 or 15 minutes each day to free-write. Free writing is a healthy daily habit that allows you to get your thoughts down on paper (or computer) without worrying about outlining or proofreading your ideas. Think of it like a journal, but focus your daily entry on personal growth or a subject in which you want to become — or be seen as — an expert.

Once you’ve finished writing every day, you can then use a tool like Grammarly to help spot mistakes and remember them for the next day.

2. Try to read every day.

In addition to writing each day, a daily reading habit is also crucial to increasing your vocabulary and expanding your writing repertoire.

Be selective about your reading choices, though. While reading in general does help you take on new points of view, the content you’re reading can have the biggest impact on what you get out of it. Reading academic journals and literary fiction can actually make you capable of more complex writing projects than reading simple, curated, or pop-culture web content.

3. Capitalize when you’re supposed to.
It might seem pedantic to school you on basic rules of grammar, but it’s not always clear what deserves to be capitalized and what doesn’t. Here are two types of writing you should always examine closely when uppercasing your words:

Proper nouns. If it’s an official name of a person, city, company, product, book, publication, country, continent, government job title, or school (we’re likely missing some on this list), capitalize it. These words refer to specific people, places, or things, and should be capitalized to reflect it.

Title case. Whenever you’re titling a new story, book, article, or even a new section of an article, you’ll need capitalizations to distinguish it. This means email subject lines, blog post headlines, and even report titles should be capitalized. Check out the Associated Press Stylebook to learn a popular way of doing so.

4. Avoid using exclamation points.

Often, we rely on exclamation points too heavily as a crutch. It dilutes your message. Instead, she suggests working on making our words convey more precisely what you want to say. When in doubt about whether to use an exclamation point, consult this flowchart.

5. Always think about your audience.

You can be casual with your coworkers and peers, but when communicating with management or clients, it’s a good idea to write using more formal grammar.
It’s much harder to convey tone in the form of words than it is in person — the types of formality described above are how you can compensate for this and ensure your audience doesn’t feel disrespected.