10 Best Free Websites To Improve English Writing Skill
|Top 10 Best Free Websites To Improve English Writing Skill Knowinsiders.com|
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Writing itself is never easy. And if you are someone who is not a native English speaker, the process becomes even more difficult. But does that mean it's not possible to get better at writing in English? Of course not. In fact, being smart and practicing hard is all that it takes to get better in English writing.
Written communication is an exceptional characteristic of the human species. Over hundreds of years, writing has helped individuals to inform, collaborate and alert other, while societies benefitted from written history, culture and knowledge. In our time, how you successfully use the gift of writing, depends on you. Writing is a life skill, not only an essential job-related skill, because it is often the basis upon which others judge your learning, your values, your ideas and your contribution to society.
And here are some of the most popular open source internet-based tools and websites to support your English writing journey.
The Importance of Writing Skills
Epale readers are becoming fully aware of the importance of functional literacy as a basis for Adult Learning, but somehow it seems that when we discuss literacy we forget it has to do with two connected skills, reading and writing. We do need to focus on writing, even if, for natural reasons, this skill is not part of tests like PIAAC. Experience shows, however, that it is easier to motivate learners to develop their reading than their writing. Satya Brink, from Canada, has written a blog directed to the learners, explaining why they need to focus on their writing skills.
Written communication is an exceptional characteristic of the human species. Over hundreds of years, writing has helped individuals to inform, collaborate and alert other, while societies benefitted from written history, culture and knowledge. In our time, how you successfully use the gift of writing, depends on you.
Writing is a life skill, not only an essential job-related skill, because it is often the basis upon which others judge your learning, your values, your ideas and your contribution to society. Regardless of your career or occupation, everyone has to write to communicate with others, whether it is a friendly email, a formal business memo, a report, a job application, a press release or a message of condolence. Your writing skills determine if you receive the desired reaction from your reader. Did you inform, persuade, calm or entertain as you hoped? The effectiveness of your communication can affect your daily life and your life course outcomes. So, miscommunication can have serious consequences and unintended effects.
Writing is personal. It represents us when we are absent in space and in time. Writing expresses who we are, even after our life time. It makes our knowledge, our personal aspirations and our work for the future visible to others. Writing is the means to explain our ideas to ourselves and to others while preserving our personal experiences and our memories. No one else can do it for you. In this way, writing connects you with yourself. Writing is not fleeting; it is permanent. It is a record of what you wished to communicate at a point in time.
Writing enables you to reach a much larger audience, in many places and over time. Keep this in mind, if you want an on-line presence. If writing was judiciously planned, thoughtfully written and designed for the intended readers, it lives on in the minds of those who read it. If you are reading this and it made sense to you, it means that the writer directed the message to you.
How writing helps you to develop
To write well, you must organize your thoughts, explain your arguments, present your supporting evidence and lead your reader to a shared conclusion. If the reader disagrees, he or she should be able to find each of your arguments for rebuttal. Writing enables you to vividly recall past events, describe a special experience or sell a vision. You rely on critical thought in your conceptualization, on clear articulation through choice of words and structure and on effective sharing of information by writing for the reader, not just yourself. Writing harnesses the transformative power of the written word to improve your life and to change the world around you.
Good writing targets the reading audience. It is adapted to the medium: Digital or print? Formal or informal? Light or serious? The task is accomplished if the message is communicated clearly but it is effective, if it is remembered. Skilled writing produces a response in the reader by stimulating thought, evoking an emotion and stirring to action. It is the reason you read a favourite book a second time.
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The simpliest ways to improve your English writing skill
1. Expand your vocabulary
To express yourself clearly, you need a good active vocabulary. That’s not just being able to recognise lots of words – it means actually being able to use them correctly. Do this by learning new words with example sentences, not just word lists.
Tip: When you learn a new word, try learn all the forms of that word and the prepositions that are usually used with it. (For example, rather than just the word ‘depend’, make a note of: to depend on, to be dependent on, a dependant.)
2. Master English spelling
You must know how to spell those words correctly. Incorrect spelling changes the meaning of your sentence. For example: ‘bare’ and ‘bear’ sound the same but ‘bare’ means naked and ‘bear’ is a large animal. Additionally, incorrect spelling makes it difficult for the reader to understand what you’ve written.
Tip: Practice your spelling using flash cards and test yourself whenever you have some spare time.
3. Read regularly
People often say that we learn to write best by reading. Reading in English is useful in many ways. It is a great way to get an idea of the different styles of writing and see how to use words appropriately.
4. Improve your grammar
Grammar is very important because it improves the quality of your writing. Always use the appropriate tense and remember to use punctuation. Punctuation is a great way to make your writing clear and fluent.
Tip: Always proof-read your writing twice. The first time, look for general mistakes and the second time look for mistakes with the particular grammar point your are studying at the moment.
5. Just do it!
Writing can be daunting. However, the best way to improve is get a pen and paper or sit in front of your computer and actually write. Be prepared to write several versions of each text because even for professional writers, the first draft is never perfect.
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What are the best free websites to improve your English writing skill?
This app for writers suggests spelling, grammar, and style changes in real time and can even edit for specific genres. Although its paid subscriptions are a bit expensive and the service does not work offline, Grammarly's support for many platforms and ease of use make it well worth the cost.
Grammarly checks your writing against its database of content and style errors as well as anonymously collected data from its daily active users. The downside of this real-time model is that Grammarly requires an internet connection to work. In use, Grammarly underlines critical mistakes in red (spelling and basic grammar), and advanced errors in other colors (style and best practices), though the latter capability is limited to premium users. Hovering over any of the indicated words or phrases brings up the option to fix the error directly or read a more detailed explanation of the mistake.
Two other features available are Goals and Performance. Goals launches whenever you import a new document; it helps Grammarly adjust its edits based on the context of your writing. For example, you can specify your intent (inform, describe, convince, tell a story), audience, style, and emotion. Premium users can choose between different writing domains, including Academic, Business, and Creative. The Performance popup shows you general data such as word count and reading time, in addition to vocabulary and readability metrics. These metrics are calculated based on comparison with other Grammarly users and the Readability score is based on the Flesch reading-ease test(Opens in a new window). Both additions make Grammarly more useful at a higher level than that of simple error checking.
The free version of the software can be used as an add-on to most word processing software. Users need to subscribe to their monthly plan to access the premium features. The premium features are a collection of advanced suggestions. It helps to make a piece more appropriate depending on its target audience and tone.
The site: https://www.grammarly.com
2. Google Translate
Google Translate is a fantastic mobile translation tool that can help you read or communicate in up to 90 languages. The app goes beyond a simple phrase book with an SMS translator, text-recognition features and even audio recordings of translated words and sentences. It's a great travel tool for when you venture somewhere you don't speak the language, especially now that more features are available offline.
Before you start translating, first tell Google which languages you need translated, French to English for instance. The app supports 90 languages including Spanish, French, Russian, Korean, Japanese, Arabic, Hebrew and Hindi, so there's a good chance you can find what you need.
Then you can type in a word or phrase and the app will give you the translation, showing it on the screen below what you entered. You can tap the speaker icon to hear the translation, copy it and save it to a digital phrasebook that you can sync across multiple devices.
In a recent update, Google added a killer new feature to Translate called Conversation mode. It lets you have a free-flowing back-and-forth conversation in which two or more people can speak naturally and the app continues to listen and translate. You don't even need to tap the screen to keep speaking because the app will recognize someone talking, translate the phrase, speak it out loud and then go back to listening for the next translation. It's almost like having a human translator standing right there with you.
Conversation mode feels natural in a real-life conversation, but it does have its drawbacks. Occasionally the app either won't listen for both languages or will start listening too soon and pick up words it shouldn't. Also, the translations are very literal, so colloquial phrases and slang rarely translate correctly.
One of the coolest features in Google Translate is Word Lens, which shows translations overlaid on signs and other printed text. All you need to do is tap the camera button in the app and point your phone's camera at the words.
You'll see a real-time translation of what it says into the language of your choice. You can also have the app scan the text and then highlight each word, getting a translation that you can save to your phrasebook. This works best with printed signs, especially the kinds you'll find on streets and in businesses. The camera struggled with handwritten text both small and large, sometimes failing to detect the original word or getting the translation incorrect.
3. Writing Forward
If you’re game for practice, spend time each week at WritingForward.com. Not only is this blog-based site filled with practical sections on grammar, punctuation and spelling, it devotes specific sections to writing prompts, suggestions and ideas for poetry, fiction and journaling, as well as general writing exercises.
Melissa Donovan, who launched her site in 2007, addresses every aspect of the craft: from developing your voice to developing good writing habits; from editing your work to writing faster. How to write better. Narrative style. Descriptive writing. How to stay inspired. How to boost inspiration when it lags.
The Writing Resources section offers reviews of books, products and other websites and blogs for writers. A section on Getting Published offers advice on writing query letters, finding and choosing an agent, the differences between traditional and self-publishing.
Sign up for the Writing Forward newsletter. It’s free, it assures you won’t miss a post, and will remind you that it’s time sit down and write!
The Site: WritingForward.com
4. Hemingway App
|Photo: Reedsy Blog|
The Hemingway app (also known as the Hemingway editor) is a desktop app downloadable on both Mac and Windows PCs designed to identify common errors that affect the readability of your writing. This includes errors such as passive voice, overuse of adverbs, and confusing or overly complex sentences.
There is a free version of the app, but it can only be used within the Hemingway app website at hemingwayapp.com. If you would like to download the desktop app so that you are able to use it offline, you will need to pay a one-time fee of $19.99 for the paid version.
And while this app doesn’t offer every functionality you might need to really make your writing shine – for example, the Hemingway does not serve as a grammar checker like other writing apps such as Grammarly – it does provide some highly helpful features.
If you are a blogger, freelance writer, or someone who simply enjoys writing as a hobby, using the Hemingway app to improve the readability grade of your writing is certainly an option worth considering.
While the name suggests it to be an app, Hemingway App is most commonly used as a website. Users will simply have to copy and paste their writing on the website. A left tab will open up instantly which will show several readability indicators. It will also show the optimum use of passive voice, adverbs, and complex sentences and highlight where to make changes.
Hemingway App strategically focuses on the readability of any writing. It doesn’t check for overall grammar items per se, but rather focuses on how easily a piece can be read by a non-technical person.
The Site: www.hemingwayapp.com
Udemy is an online education platform. It offers courses in pretty much anything! That means that there’s a full range of English writing courses for you to choose from, ranging in price, level of difficulty and area of specialty.
This is the perfect resource for a person who’s new to writing in English or for a learner who wants to focus on a particular type of writing, like creative or business writing. Basically, you’ll be able to find something valuable to your writing goals at any level!
Among the courses covered is a general English writing basics course, or you can seek out more specific courses such as one on formal email writing.
To make the most of this resource, it’s very important that you carefully select the right course for your goals. This means reading the reviews, watching the course preview and reading any feedback or notes left by people who have previously taken the course.
Make sure you keep up to date with the classes and prepare materials on a schedule! Since these are mostly courses that allow you to go at your own pace, you’ll have to keep yourself on track.
The Site: https://www.udemy.com
Coursera provides universal access to the world's best education, partnering with top universities and organizations to offer courses for anyone to take, for free.
Coursera provides the best quality courses and content in almost every domain or stream you require. It also has an option to audit the course before buying which is regarded as an advantage. Also, all the courses provided here are made by big universities and organizations as a result the content provided is authentic and in line with the industrial requirement. Also, assignments are provided after each module of the course to help the students test their knowledge on the content learned.
But few assignments are reviewed by other participants (peer grading) and due to this, the genuineness of the assignment and correctness of the answers or the task is questionable. This has to be taken care of. Also, there is a scope of peers copying the assignments of others.
Plus, there’s an extra benefit to using Coursera: The courses come from authorized universities and institutions. As a result, many of the courses are more academic and similar to something you’d find in an actual college course. By taking one of these courses, you’ll be getting expert advice for much cheaper than the cost of a university class, or even for free!
Coursera suits learners looking to achieve a professional level of writing. In fact, if you scroll through the offerings, you’ll notice that many (but not all) of the courses on English are business or professionally focused.
If you’re learning English for business, you might find it useful to take this course on “Better Business Writing in English” from the Georgia Institute of Technology. Or, if you’re just trying to improve your overall writing skills, this course on grammar and punctuation from the University of California can help you out.
You also have the option of paying to receive a certificate of completion at the end of the course. This makes Coursera an excellent option if you’d like to put your English studies on your resume!
The Site: https://www.coursera.org
Ginger is a spelling and grammar checking tool that watches out for common and uncommon grammar and spelling errors so that you don’t have to.
Not only does Ginger give you all the tools that you need for sharpening and tightening up your blog posts, but it also educates you about specific errors and the corrections that it provides.
This grammar tool and spell-checking software give you the ability to learn how to become a better writer while helping to save you the time and the headache of agonizing over corrections.
Ginger software corrects mistakes in words, grammar, and punctuation, and also helps to enhance your English by showing the synonyms and details about the selected word.
Ginger is a well-rounded writing tool for desktop and mobile devices. The software is equipped with a grammar checker that makes suggestions and corrections as the user types.
With Ginger, you have access to a tool that let’s rephrase sentences in different ways to avoid redundancy. Also, a dictionary is always at hand so you can check whether the word in a sentence or phrase is appropriate.
What Features Does Ginger Have?
What separates Ginger from the rest of the pack is that it not only tells you what you need to adjust or edit, it actually helps you learn how to become a better writer.
Ginger has a learning center feature where you can address some of the most common mistakes that you can face in writing. It can show you why something is misplaced or incorrect, how you can fix that and how you can prevent making that mistake in the future.
Ginger is not only limited to correcting spelling and simple grammatical errors. It also makes changes and recommendations for sentence structure, punctuation, and style in your writing.
It can even get as detailed to provide feedback on words that are misused or out of context to making sure that your subjects and verbs agree.
Ginger takes the 360-degree approach when it comes to helping you become a better writer, by going with you to any platform, software, and operating system that you need to write on.
Ginger also gives you the ability to access a ton of additional tools that you can use to improve your productivity in writing.
8. British Council
|Photo: British Council English Online|
The British council is another organization that focuses on the English language and culture. Like Cambridge English, the British Council offers services related to English learning and exam preparation.
Their writing section is a great mix of English writing resources and activities. These would suit any type of learner since they’re clearly arranged by difficulty and are designed for self-study. This means you can set your own schedule and focus on areas of interest that are relevant to you.
To begin, choose your appropriate level. To really make the most of the resource, you should be completing all the activities as well as interacting in the comments section. You may find some tips and feedback you wouldn’t otherwise get!
If you like the free content, there’s an option to continue with a paid course This is a good choice for anyone who wants to prepare for an exam or get a more structured learning experience.
9. 750 Words
“I don’t want to write today.”
“I don’t know what to write about!”
“It’s too late, I’ll write tomorrow.”
Do you ever find yourself making excuses like these? I know I do! It isn’t always easy to get yourself to sit down and write.
This is where the psychology of forming a habit is so important.
So far we’ve looked at resources that help our skills or give us pointers for our English writing capabilities.
But what about the act of writing, itself? Forget complex grammar and spelling issues. Sometimes, sitting down and practicing the writing is the hardest part of all!
750 Words tracks your writing and encourages you to write every day. The goal of the website is to get you to write 750 words—about three pages worth of writing—per day.
In addition to being a minimal and beautifully designed writing program, 750 Words provides feedback on the time you’ve spent writing, the number of words you wrote and the language you used. It also gives you a report on your writing output (how much you achieve).
There’s a big focus on habit building on the platform, which is an often forgotten but very important step! It can take anywhere from 18-254 days to form a habit, and 750 Words provides the motivation to write every day.
This is a “free-writing” or journaling website, which means you should be writing without any goal or task in mind. If you find yourself struggling to think of something to write about, Journaling Buddies has a great list of 49 writing prompts for English learners.
750 Words doesn’t check your spelling or grammar, so you can use it with some of the other resources in this list, like Grammarly.
10. Quick and Dirty Tips from Grammar Girl
|Photo: Common Sense Media|
Mignon Fogarty, also known as the Grammar Girl, is the founder of the blog and website “Quick and Dirty Tips.” She’s an award-winning writer and podcast host, and has a number of other accolades.
And there’s a good reason for that: Her webpage is a goldmine (full of useful information) of grammar advice and writing tips for native and non-native speakers alike!
You can find articles that cover basic grammar rules all the way up to more specific issues such as when to use specific words, like in the case of historic vs historical.
There are two ways that you can make the most of this resource as an English learner. The first is to search for a specific answer to a question that you have in mind. Grammar Girls has the answers to many of the most common grammar questions. If you have a question about how to use a word or how to apply a grammar rule, there’s a good chance it’s been covered on the website.
The second (which is my favorite) is to simply scroll through the website, diving deep into all the interesting and funny articles. You’ll learn the interesting history of some words, incredible tips and of course plenty of writing-related advice.
It’s a great way to learn while having fun!
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