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Some basic writing rules

Unlike speaking which is very often a spontaneous flow of our thoughts and ideas (public speeches excluded), writing should and is a very well structured and organised form of expression.

Nada Radenkovic
Nada Radenkovic
Book lesson

Unlike speaking which is very often a spontaneous flow of our thoughts and ideas (public speeches excluded), writing should and is a very well structured and organised form of expression. Let’s see what it means:

Think about the topic you want to write about. Most of the time we have different ideas running through our minds so it is difficult to organise them. In that case, do a kind of brainstorming, see what they have in common and come up with your main topic.

Think about a writing style. Very often when we write, we are confused about what style to choose from. If you are a beginner in this, why not consider the basics of writing. There are essential essay styles: narrative, descriptive, argumentative. Once you master these, you can easily move to the next level.

Think about the audience. Who is going to read your story and what is your purpose? Once you have done that, make all the necessary changes to your writing. Grammar, sentence structures, punctuation, title, subtitles if necessary, vocabulary etc.

Try not to repeat yourself and definitely do not make yourself boring. Use examples, jokes, phrases, expressions that will enrich and give your story some character.

Use concrete rather than vague language to avoid any confusion. Also, active voice is recommended rather than passive as it makes your story engaging for a reader.

Proof-read and proof-read and proof-read. Unlike speaking which can be “a spur of a moment” thing and unpredicted, for some even easier than writing or some other skills, writing is a tough work and requires a lot of dedication, commitment and sweat.

Types of Essays

Earlier, I have mentioned that there are three basic types of essays that you can start with. Let’s see which they are.

Narrative essays

In those essays, you can tell different stories. They can be personal or other. However, it is of high importance that you make a point and point out the moral of the story. For this purpose, please use some colorful and vivid vocabulary as you want your reader to actually live the “experience.” Make it a bit dramatic by using flashback and flash forwards effects till you reach a climax. Think about the plot of the story in order to create a conflict where a protagonist is struggling against a force. Yet, be careful about the sequence and structure. You need to have the beginning, middle and end.

Example:

“As Stella pulled up to the old, abandoned house, she felt her heartbeat heavy in her chest. The parents she never knew lived out the entirety of their lives here. There was a glass-fronted solarium to the right where she imagined they sat and played cards every evening. At the thought of that, her mind drifted back to her own childhood.”
“Till the Sun Melted into the Star”— Kristen Ashley

Descriptive essays

Just like the name itself, descriptive essays describe something: a thing, a person, a situation, an emotion, a place etc. One of such possible subcategories of descriptive essays are journals that we keep on a more or less daily basis. Again, it is advisable to pay closer attention to the choice of words as, once more, vivid vocabulary makes a stronger impression on the reader and helps a reader create a better image about the story. Metaphor, simile, figurative language, sensory language are also recommended. However, make sure that the language and words are chosen carefully.

Example:

“Sitting out in the garden, I feel calm. I feel at home. And yet I always feel there is more to discover. The bounds of my garden may be small, but there is a whole world contained within it, and it is one I will never get tired of inhabiting.”

Argumentative essay

Finally is the argumentative essay. This is probably the most difficult one to write as you need to provide both arguments for and against the topic you are discussing in your article. It is easy to express your point of view, yet, is it that easy to state the opposite arguments? No. Therefore, you need to be very objective. For this purpose, whatever point you are discussing, make sure you provide the right examples which will support both of your ideas objectively. Another important point is the structure.

If you are a beginner it is advisable to stick to the basic structure:
a) introduction
b) body paragraph containing both pros and cons, including examples
c) conclusion where you state your own, final opinion leaving the lasting mark on a reader.

Linking words like: although, ulike, therefore, to begin with  etc, in this kind of essay are very helpful. Let’s have a look at some examples:

Example 1:

“As online learning becomes more and more common and more resources are converted to digital form, some people have suggested that public libraries should be closed and, in their place, everyone should be given an iPad with an e-reader subscription. Proponents of this idea state that it will save local cities and towns money because libraries are expensive to maintain. They also believe it will encourage more people to read because they won’t have to travel to a library to get a book; they can simply click on what they want to read and read it from wherever they are. They could also access more materials because libraries won’t have to buy physical books as such; they can simply rent out as many digital copies as they need.”

Example  2:

“Malaria is a disease caused by parasites that are transmitted to people through female Anopheles mosquitoes. Each year, over half a billion people will become infected with malaria, with roughly 80% of them living in Sub-Saharan Africa. Almost half a million people die from malaria every year, most of them young children under the age of five. Unlike many other infectious diseases, the death toll for malaria is rising. While there have been many programs designed to improve access to malaria treatment, the best way to reduce the impact of malaria in Sub-Saharan Africa is to focus on reducing the number of people who contract the disease in the first place, rather than waiting to treat the disease after the person is already infected.”

If you think this is all you need to know about writing, well, you are wrong. This is only a fragment. There is so much more we can talk, discuss and write about writing, however, this should be enough to begin your writing journey. Get on board and get down to writing. Good luck!

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Nada Radenkovic

I'm a certified English teacher from Serbia. More than anything, I like teaching English and getting to know new cultures. Do not hesitate to join my class as it would be my pleasure to work with you.

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Milena Lazova

I'm an ESL teacher with over 7 years of experience in providing original content. I really like writing educational articles which may help others learn some aspects of English.

Valentina Dordevic

Hello! My name is Valentina. Book digesting is my specialty. I transform book ideas into easy-to-follow summaries, articles, study guides, reviews, essays, analyses, slides, or e-books.

Beth Taylor

Hello! My name is Beth. I'm from France. I'm a French and English native speaker and I really like writing.