Dismiss Notice
Join Physics Forums Today!
The friendliest, high quality science and math community on the planet! Everyone who loves science is here!

Becoming a better writer

  1. May 7, 2004 #1
    Becoming a better writer....

    Yeah.. my writing skills suck....

    I already know I should start reading more.. WRITING more etc.. but I need examples of actual parts of writtings essential.. all those things to watch out for...

  2. jcsd
  3. May 7, 2004 #2

    jimmy p

    User Avatar
    Gold Member

    writing for which type of field? Or just general writing?
  4. May 7, 2004 #3
    Read, read read read read
    Nothing makes you a better writer than that.
    I hate to admit it, but Jimmy is right. You need to decide what kind of writing you want to do. I try to get paid for everything I write, so what I write isn't always what would get good grades in school.
  5. May 7, 2004 #4

    jimmy p

    User Avatar
    Gold Member

    Nothing is sweeter or more gratifying than reading that. :smile:
  6. May 7, 2004 #5
    there is a great little book on grammar, but I can't remember the name right now. ask me again tomorrow. It's a little white book written by White & somebody..Strunk? damn it's on the tip of my tongue. Stephen King's book On Writing is pretty good too.
  7. May 7, 2004 #6
    Elements of Style by E.B. White, if I'm not mistaken.

    The most common failing of writing is that it doesn't flow correctly. People may pass right over typos and they may pass over poor sentence structure and they may pass over crappy syntax, but nobody ever misses the flow (even if they don't realize it). Bad flow just kind of leaves a bad taste in the reader's brain about your piece.

  8. May 7, 2004 #7

    jimmy p

    User Avatar
    Gold Member

    A good way of improving my essay writing I found was to get a kindly person (family, friend, garbage collector) to read over what I had written. It was very useful because though YOU know what you mean, if someone else doesnt understand it then you can edit it before it has to be handed in.
  9. May 7, 2004 #8
    yeah writting in general.. I'll try to get a hold of those books mentioned.
  10. May 7, 2004 #9
    And if you're really nice and we're all in good moods, you could probably post your writings here and have them reviewed!

    Actually, it'd probably be a nice change of pace.

  11. May 7, 2004 #10


    User Avatar
    Gold Member

    I hate to admit it :biggrin: , but trib is right, too. The more you read, the better you'll write. This forum is a good place to practice. Getting into some of the discussions will give you practice in organizing your thoughts and help you focus on properly presenting them.
  12. May 8, 2004 #11
    Try to familiarize yourself with different authors and writing style so you won't feel stuck using the same, old pattern.

    Read as much as you can from different sources, and look at how the sentence structure flows smoothly from one idea to the next. Or the lack thereof.

    I find that reading my big, fat Webster's dictionary every once in a while helps me broaden my vocabulary and helps me get pass certain limits in expression.

    There are a lot of good, talented writers in this forum as well so if you find something that piqued your interest, you can always check out their posts.
    Last edited: May 8, 2004
  13. May 8, 2004 #12
    Yeah, I haven't been here long but I know there are some smart people here. I read posts about how some wanted to write science news for magazines and such things.
  14. May 8, 2004 #13
    Who are a better group of people to do that than us?
  15. May 8, 2004 #14
    The reading part is definately a good start. I used to write once in awhile for fun and barely ever read. This year I've read less than 10 books and I've noticed a dirastic improvement in my writing. I also signed up for emails that send me a vocabulary word regularly.

    Make sure to write often and keep your grammar and syntax, flow and all the good stuff improving. Setting, metaphors and all the literally elements are important to fiddle with as well.
  16. May 9, 2004 #15
    Oh yeah can someone point out who the good writers are aso I can watch out for them?
  17. May 9, 2004 #16
    I used the Bedford Guide for College Writers (Kennedy, Kennedy, Holladay) for my English Composition course.

    I noticed that one of the problems that I had when writing formally was (as other people said) fluency. If the sentence does not fit in with the other sentences and is not able to be read clearly, then it probably needs to be revised or redone.

    For literary writing such as prose or poetry, I used Perrine's Literature.
  18. May 9, 2004 #17
    The greatest english writer of all time - Shakespeare. Although his work was done in an elizabethan fashion, when you begin to examine his syntax and diction you can begin to appreciate his genius. Every word he uses, every sentence he forms, every image he creates has a purpose. When you are writing you should have a purpose to everything you say. When you look at Shakespeares work you can see everything he said had a purpose. You can learn a great deal from his works.
  19. May 10, 2004 #18
    I totally agree with you on that. You can already tell how good of a writer he is just by noticing the fact that his works are still popular today as they were when he wrote them.
Share this great discussion with others via Reddit, Google+, Twitter, or Facebook