Essential Writing Skills

Essential Writing Skills

By Ralf Skirr.

Writer
Above all else, mastering basic writing skills is important. No matter how persuasive you are verbally, if you cannot put those words into clear, thoughtful, grammatically correct writing, your arguments may prove more off-putting than enticing.

And this is precisely why I recommend developing your basic writing skills before you try to delve deep into copywriting and other forms of sales writing.

How to Improve Your Writing Skills

Good Grammar is the Minimum

When it comes to copywriting, no one is going to be impressed by your good grammar. In fact, no one will notice your grammar at all unless it is bad. And this is precisely why it is important to think about good grammar being the starting point for any sales letter—not a lofty goal to achieve.

If you have a weak background in writing, there’s a good chance you are frequently making grammatical errors that most readers perceive as a poor reflection on you. For instance, you might use sentence fragments often; or you might have subject-verb agreement issues. Either way, you are probably repeating these mistakes again and again without even noticing it.

In fact, writers make these mistakes all the time. And when they do, it not only makes them look bad, but it can even confuse the reader by providing the wrong information.

So what can you do about it? You can start by identifying your areas of weakness; and then practicing grammar drills to improve.

Doing “grammar drills” isn’t on the top of the list of the things you want to spend your weekend doing, but if you truly aspire to be a MASTER copywriter—not a mediocre copywriter—you must start by mastering grammar first.

When it comes to doing grammar drills, you have a number of options. I personally recommend that you use one of the following three sites, all of which provide free information and drills:

1. http://odl.vwv.at/english/odlres/res8/Grammar/grammar.htm

-This site will familiarize you with with basic grammar construction rules through various grammar exercise such as multiple choice and fill-in-the-blanks.

2. http://dartmouth.edu/~writing/materials/student/ac_paper/drills/index.shtml

-Providing a wide variety of grammar drills ranging from agreement and pronoun reference to sentence strength to words commonly confused, this site will allow you to master grammar in no time.

3. http://www.englisch-hilfen.de/en/exercises_list/alle_grammar.htm

-If you want to be a master when it comes to grammar rules and construction, this is the site to go to.

As with most things in life, your time is probably best used concentrating on your problem areas. So, rather than re-learning English grammar in its entirety, you should eliminate your weaknesses. You can use the following tests to identify which areas you should work on:

1. http://www.wordl-english.org/diagnostic_grammar.htm

-This site provides a three-part test that will clearly define your weak grammar areas.

2.http://www.dailywritingtips.com/grammar-test-1

-If you want to know how much you know about basic grammar in a short period of time, opt to take this 20-question test.

3. http://www.grammarbook.com/grammar_quiz/grammar_mastery.asp

-To acquire a more comprehensive report on your grammar knowledge, taking this site’s 50-question exam is the best choice.

Category: Copywriting |



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