All About Writing

Welcome to another edition of the Culips Blog!

Today I’m going to talk all about writing. We here at Culips strongly believe that our podcast can help you improve your English in many different ways. We realize, however, that it may be difficult to become a better writer through listening to our podcast. So, today’s post will consist of two tips of how to improve your English writing.

Tip #1: Take advantage of the Internet. The Internet offers so many opportunities for you to communicate with both English native speakers and English learners. Why not start an online
conversation?

We love when we hear from you. I encourage you to send us email or to comment on our blog and facebook posts. We’re more than happy to provide you with some feedback on your writing if you ask.

Another website that is great for writing practice is http://lang-8.com/. On this site, you can post any type of writing (email, blog post, formal essay, etc.) and get feedback on it from English native speakers. The site is free to use but you are expected to return the favour and provide feedback on other users’ writing that is in your native language. I’ve used this site often in the past and I really like it.

A less obvious way to use the Internet for writing practice is through Craigslist (http://www.craigslist.org/). Craigslist is an online classified ads website. I use this site to practice writing in French. I email people to inquire about products (even if I’m not interested in buying them) just for the writing practice! For example, I might ask someone who is renting their apartment if the apartment has hardwood floors or is carpeted. Or I might ask someone who is selling a van how many kilometres the van has travelled.

I’ve found that using Craigslist for writing practice has helped me become a better email writer. I’ve also learned a lot of interesting vocabulary along the way. Why not try it out?

Tip #2: Use an online grammar checker. An ESL teacher right here in Montreal developed the very cool website http://virtualwritingtutor.com/. The Virtual Writing Tutor automatically checks
your writing for spelling and grammar errors. The grammar checker will provide you with feedback and suggestions on how to improve your writing.

Although this site works very well, it is not 100% accurate. Automatic grammar checking technology is still a work in progress. So, I recommend that you use this website as a starting point for reflecting on your writing instead of totally trusting everything it says.

I hope that you’ll find these tips helpful! How do you practice writing in English? Do you use any of the methods listed above? Do you have any tips you can share with us? Let us know by leaving a comment!

Until next time!

 

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