English 101: How to Take the Course Effectively?
Usually, people set themselves the goal of speaking English fluently and confidently, while written speech is neglected by many. However, if you are learning a language, you are going to take an English 101 course (an introductory writing course that is taught in many colleges today. It allows developing skills such as argumentation, analysis, and generalization through writing) and, in principle, want to know English at a high level, then you definitely need to develop your writing skills.
In this review, we will tell you how to learn to write competently and how you can practice your written speech in order to successfully complete English 101.
How to Develop the Skill of Writing?
Below are tips on how to develop writing skills. Try to study them carefully.
Hone Your Spelling
You can use abstruse words and write long letters, but your knowledge will not impress anyone if you misspell. Therefore, hone your spelling, check your dictionary to make a good impression on the person reading the text you write. In addition, there are many similar spelling words in the English language, which differ radically in meaning, so spelling mistakes can be both curious and catastrophic.
Online dictations perform several useful functions at once: you learn to write correctly and improve your listening comprehension. And the written text is also well remembered so that later you can use phrases from it to write your own work.
Improve Your Grammar Knowledge
If you want your addressee to take you seriously, you need to write correctly and accurately. Good knowledge of grammar will enable you to achieve these goals. You will be able to clearly express your thoughts using a variety of tenses, modal verbs, various grammatical constructions.
Remember the joke about the place of the comma in the phrase “Let’s eat grandma!”, in which you can eat your grandmother or invite her to eat. As you can see, punctuation also needs to be studied in order to correctly express your thoughts.
Use Special Tutorials
The Virginia Evans` “Successful Writing” tutorials are great for people looking to improve their writing. They explain in detail how to write different types of letters and essays and give samples of each type of writing work.
Proofread and Edit What You Write
Once you’ve written your essay or any other paper, put it aside for a couple of hours or days. Then read carefully, try to find mistakes, check dubious phrases or punctuation, etc. This is a very useful technique because mistakes you notice yourself are a step towards improving literacy.
Find a Reviewer
It is almost impossible to develop your writing skills on your own: there should be a person next to you who will find your mistakes, explain them and help eliminate them. It is optimal if your mentor is not just a person who speaks English well but a professional teacher who knows what to look for and how to effectively improve your written language.
Constantly Learn New Vocabulary
The larger your vocabulary, the more accurate you can express your thoughts. Try to constantly learn new words, expressions and immediately use them in writing. At the same time, you will get the opposite effect: the written word will be remembered better than just read.
It is recommended to learn:
- Synonyms of words;
- Phrasal verbs;
- Stable collocations;
Read in English
Reading is an often neglected activity. Meanwhile, in the process of reading, you see how grammar ‘works’ in practice, words are written and combined with each other, etc. That is, in the process of reading, you immerse yourself in English, remember how sentences are built, grammatical constructions, and unfamiliar words are used, and as a result, transfer this experience into your own written language.
Track Your Progress
Tracking your progress is useful because it is an additional motivation for learning English, which is sometimes so lacking.
How to Improve the Spelling?
Tips for improving your spelling skills are also helpful. Try not to ignore them.
Learn Reading Rules
It is imperative to know the rules for reading English in order to understand which letters are pronounced in which way. For example, you’ll know that s can be pronounced / z / when it’s between vowels, so you’ll wonder whether to write noze or nose.
Learn the Rules for Using Unpronounceable (Silent) Letters
Silent letters are a trap that almost all English learners fall into. There are quite a few words in which a letter is written but not pronounced in English. Fortunately, there are certain general rules of writing that will help you. So, you should study them carefully.
Use a Special Tutorial
Spelling textbooks are not the most popular tools and are not always easy to get hold of. But if you are constantly in business correspondence and feel that you need to tighten up the spelling, then you should look for such a tutorial.
Use Spell Checkers
Spelling checkers will detect and help correct most errors, but keep in mind that they will not check your text for logic and style and will not give you clear information about the compatibility of English words with each other.
Remember the Difference between British and American English
There are many English words that people in the United States and Great Britain write differently. Because of this, confusion occurs: it seems that you found a word in the dictionary, wrote it out, and the spelling checker or even Microsoft Word underlines it and imposes its own spelling. For example, instead of colour, you will be asked to write the American version color, and the program will replace realise with realize. In this case, it is worth knowing the commonly used words that are spelled differently in the British and American versions.
Check the Dictionaries
When writing a difficult word, do not rely only on your memory; check the spelling in the dictionary. It is better to write slowly but correctly than fast and illiterate. Don’t worry; after a few ‘peeks,’ you will remember the word and write it confidently without any prompts.
Complete Spelling Tests
There are hundreds of online tests available on the Internet to help you improve your English spelling skills. We recommend that you go through them from time to time to track your progress.
Use Microsoft Word
You, of course, notice how Microsoft Word corrects your typos or misspellings. You can use this for learning. Once you see that the program underlined the misspelled word, try to understand what the error is. After that, fix it yourself or look at the options offered by the program. In this way, you turn on mechanical memory: you write the word correctly and memorize its spelling. Work on the document will take a little longer than usual, but it will significantly improve your literacy if you constantly practice this technique.
Where to Practice Writing in English?
To put your knowledge into practice, you definitely need to practice your English writing. Try to draw your attention to the tips below regarding this.
Find a Pen Pal
On special sites, you can find an English-speaking friend with whom you can correspond. Of course, he will not correct your mistakes or teach you to write letters in a business style, but such communication will give you practice: you will learn to formulate your thoughts in writing, to express them so that your addressee understands them. Moreover, such correspondence is a very interesting experience that helps to expand the circle of communication.
Practice Writing Essays on Specialized Platforms
Students often think that writing essays is the task of schoolchildren; however, if you are going to take an English 101, you should not neglect this activity. In addition, writing an essay will teach you to properly structure and logically express your thoughts because the essay has a clear plan. As a result, you will learn the structure of the essay and learn how to write it correctly.
Chat in English Forums
Find an English-language forum of like-minded people on the Internet and communicate with its members:
- Share your opinion.
- Show off your achievements.
- Comment on the posts of other visitors.
- Reveal your secrets and consult with professionals.
Chat in English Learning Blogs
Visit English learning blogs such as engblog.ru. There you can practice writing by leaving comments in English, and you will also find like-minded people and potential penpals. Experienced teachers will be happy to answer any questions and share their language learning experiences. In the comments, you can ask an expert to check your essay for errors. In addition, you can search for similar blogs on the Internet yourself and practice writing.
Film fans and book lovers can write their own reviews about the movie they watched or the book they read. You can also share your opinion with a huge Internet audience and start a discussion with like-minded people.
Bargain with Sellers on Online Auctions
Online auctions are a great resource for buying things at attractive prices. Unlike an online store, there, you can communicate directly with the seller of the product. Try to correspond with him and bargain. Well-developed writing skills will help you get a good discount.
As you can see, all the tips on how to write in English and take the English 101 course are very simple, and the described techniques are available to everyone. Practice, work on your mistakes, and your writing will improve!