To write like a pro, you need to make every word count. You should avoid common mistakes that can cause your writing to lose credibility, sound amateurish or bore your readers. Here are 16 tips to help you write like a pro.
1) Get organized
Organizing your thoughts and ideas is the first step to writing like a pro. Get on your computer or grab some paper and start writing. Jot down anything that comes to mind without worrying about whether or not it’s relevant to your topic or if it makes sense. That way, you’ll have time to go back later and clean up the work.
Even if you only jotted down one sentence, at least it will get out of your head and onto the page so that you can move forward with something else. When looking at what you wrote, see if any particular words stand out to you.
By studying these words closer, you might find an answer to a question or problem. If nothing stands out, keep moving through your thought process until something happens – a sudden realization that tells us what we need to write next!
From here, use basic tools like headlines and bullet lists to organize everything so that they make sense and flow together seamlessly. With all of this material ready, it will be much easier for you when coming up with an outline for your work!
For instance, if you are writing a resume, using a professional resume builder can help you get started.
2) Keep it simple
There are many ways to keep your writing simple. The easiest way is to write in short sentences and use a few words. It may take you longer to get your point across, but it will make it easier for the reader to understand.
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Keep your paragraphs short, and remember that every sentence should have a purpose. Make sure every sentence has a verb and doesn’t just describe something. “The sky was blue” is not as effective as “The sky was crisp and clear”.
And don’t be afraid of white space; it can help break up large chunks of text into smaller bites for readers to consume more easily.
3) Know your audience
Writing like a pro doesn’t happen overnight. It takes time and practice to master the art of writing with style, precision, and authority.
Knowing the audience you are writing for can give you the direction you need to write well. And it’s important to know who you are writing for so you can tailor your message in a way that is both informative and engaging for them.
The more you know about the people reading what you publish, the easier it will be to write something they will enjoy reading. Understanding how to create quality content is not enough on its own; you also need to understand your target audience.
If you don’t know anything about them, try looking at their social media profiles or talk to someone from their office who could give you some insight into their interests. Once you get a sense of what they’re all about, brainstorm some topics that might interest them and see if any pop up repeatedly over several days.
4) Have a strong opening
The beginning of your blog post is where you can hook your readers and get them interested in what you have to say.
So, start with a strong opening sentence that grabs the reader’s attention, such as: What do you think about when you hear the word ‘bread’? Then include a question or statement that leads into your main point.
Then follow the opening paragraph by stating your main point (in one sentence). Provide a summary sentence of your main idea at the end to recap what you wrote. For example: Do you know how to write like a pro? These 16 tips are sure to help.
5) Use active voice
Active voice should always be used in professional writing. This is because when you write in an active voice, the person or thing that is doing the action is doing it to someone or something else.
For example, “I am going to the store”. In this sentence, I is performing an action (going), and the store is the recipient of that action.
When you write in passive voice, the subject receiving the action can be unclear, which makes it difficult for your reader to follow your thought process.
For example, “The store was visited by me”. There’s no indication of who did what to whom here. It could be either that I went to the store or that I am at home and I’m imagining myself going to the store.
Passive voice should only be used in formal letters or legal documents where you need to ensure no typos. Use active voice whenever possible!
6) Use strong verbs
Strong verbs can make your writing stronger and more powerful. Use them to punch up your sentences.
Choose strong verbs that match the tense of the sentence. However, avoid using passive verbs when you want an active voice. If possible, consider whether you want to use to be or do.
Also, choose strong verbs that are not too general (e.g., say, talk, think). Replace adjectives with verbs whenever possible (e.g., instead of saying, The man smiled, try, The man grinned).
7) Be concise
It’s easy to write too much. But whenever you’re writing, ask yourself, Does this sentence contribute to the meaning? If it does, keep it. If not, cut it.
Remember that your goal is to be clear and concise with your writing. You’ll save time and make your readers happy by being succinct and getting to the point quickly. Plus, if you’re concise with your sentences, there will be more room for other important things like detail or humor.
One way to start being concise with your writing is by re-reading what you’ve written. And then remove any unnecessary words. For example, instead of saying I was walking down the street when I saw someone, you could say, I saw someone on the street.
8) Use transition words
Transition words are like the sentence glue that keeps ideas together and communicates to the reader where one idea ends, and another begins. These words can be used to keep your writing coherent and organized.
For example, Furthermore is often used to transition from one idea to the next. Here are some other transition words to use:
- In fact
- As a result
9) Use quotes
Quotes are used to add credibility and convey your point more effectively. They can also be used to help you make the transition between two points.
For example, when you’re writing about the benefits of using quotes, you might want to use quotes from people who have said they find it helpful.
Quotes are also a great way to break up large chunks of text when you need to provide more detailed information on a certain point. The key is not to overwhelm the reader with too many quotes, as one or two quotes at strategic points should suffice.
10) Cite your sources
It can be challenging to know how to cite your sources when writing. But it is important for readers of your work to be able to find the sources you are citing and make sure that you are being accurate.
There are some best practices when citing your sources. One way is to put the author’s last name in brackets after every quote, paraphrase, or summation of someone else’s ideas. Another tip is to mention any books, journals, articles, websites, interviews or presentations that you have cited in your paper. A third way to do this would be to mention them at the end of each paragraph using an in-text citation with a reference list at the end of your document.
11) Check your grammar
When you write, make sure your grammar is perfect. Check your spelling, punctuation and sentence structure to ensure the quality of your writing is professional. If you’re unsure about something, look it up in the dictionary or consult an expert in that field.
The more time and effort you put into perfecting your writing before publishing it to the world, the better it will be received by others. It doesn’t take much time to go back through your work and double-check the important details. So, don’t just skim over your work; read it thoroughly. It will only take a few minutes, but they can make all the difference!
12) Choose your words carefully
It is important to choose your words carefully when writing. You can’t just use a word because it is synonymous with the one you want to use.
There are many rules to follow in order to make your writing sound like a pro. For instance, if you want to use the word very, make sure the sentence doesn’t need any more intensity or emotion.
It also helps to avoid using contractions unless they’re needed for clarity or effect. Don’t overuse commas, semicolons, and conjunctions (i.e., and, but, or). They can make sentences convoluted and hard to read.
13) Use simple words
Many people think that using simple words makes the writing seem less intelligent. However, simplifying your language can make your message clearer and more persuasive.
Simple words are easier for readers to understand, which can also save you time from having them read sentences repeatedly to figure out what you want to say. For example, if you’re using jargon or technical terms, it’s going to be much more difficult for the reader than if you use simpler terms they’re familiar with.
When people are reading what you write, they should never have to stop and think about what you mean. Instead of getting bogged down in details or trying too hard with your sentence structure, focus on making things as clear as possible by choosing simple words over complex ones whenever possible.
14) Don’t be afraid to break the rules
Don’t be afraid to break the rules. It’s important to remember that writing is not an exact science, and there are no set rules. The key to writing well is not following the same patterns over and over again, it’s making sure you’re using your words in the best way possible.
Sure, you might want to avoid repetition or cliches, but that doesn’t mean you should never use them if they work for the specific sentence or paragraph. Ultimately, your writing should flow naturally from your thoughts and be as clear as possible for the reader.
If you find yourself stuck on a particular word or phrase, take a step back and read what you’ve written so far. Chances are you’ll see how to fix the problem without breaking any of the rules.
15) Read your work aloud
Reading your work aloud is one of the best ways you can get feedback on how it sounds. It doesn’t matter if you are reading out loud to yourself, your spouse or co-worker, or even in front of an audience.
Reading aloud forces you to slow down and hear what words sound like when they come out of your mouth. If they sound clunky or awkward, try rephrasing them and see if that sounds better.
Don’t worry about making any mistakes while reading aloud, either. People will let you know immediately if there’s a word that sounds incorrect, so it will help keep you honest with what you’ve written.
While this may be difficult for some people who feel self-conscious speaking in front of others, you’ll find it becomes easier over time. Speaking aloud gives you immediate feedback on how your writing reads and helps build confidence when speaking publicly. So, read your work aloud and reap the benefits!
16) Get feedback
It’s hard to know if you’re making progress in your writing if you don’t get feedback. Here are some ways to get feedback from others and make sure that what you write is as good as it can be:
- Find someone who will honestly provide feedback.
- Make sure they have expertise in the subject matter and are familiar with the writing style expected of your audience.
- Give them all of the materials needed to give feedback on the topic, including any drafts or outlines.
- Encourage them to give positive and negative feedback, especially regarding spelling, grammar, and punctuation errors.
- Have them read aloud so you can hear how their voice sounds when reading your content, and make changes accordingly.
Write Better with These Tips!
Writing is not easy, and it takes time and practice. These 16 tips will help you think about your writing in new ways and give you the tools you need to make your writing shine. Don’t worry if some of these don’t work out; this just gives you more material for future articles or topics.