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There is no happy medium when it comes to writing. You either love it or you hate it. You may only be writing because you are forced to in school or at work. Or you could be writing because it is something that you enjoy doing. Regardless of your feelings towards writing, you are more than likely writing something that should be professional, effective, and as error-free as possible.
While there are plenty of tools and resources for you to utilize to become a better writer, it starts within. You could have a paper and pen in front of you or your computer and have a blank slate. In order to be an effective writer, there are some steps that you can take to improve your skills and delivery.
- Center your mind: Before you begin writing a piece, brainstorm what it is that you want to write about and what you plan to accomplish with that piece. Is it to get an A on your AP research paper, is it to score that dream job, is it to write a professional email? Whatever it may be, organize your thoughts before you begin to write.
- Stay on track: Brainstorming ahead of time will alleviate your mind wandering and starting to blabber about something that is irrelevant. Make sure that your writing flows and maintains your reader’s interest.
- Eliminate distractions: Find a motivational place to write that is clear of distractions. Find what helps you become centered and focused. Then use those aspects to your advantage such as listening to music.
- Write frequently: The more practice you get the better you become. Write more often even if it is just jotting down notes or reminders.
- READ, READ, READ: Reading is a great way to exercise your brain. You may not realize it but the more that you read, the more intelligent you become. Force yourself to read educational books and articles. Not Fifty Shades of Gray. Read books that have valuable information that you can learn from.
- Revise: If you are like me, too much brainstorming can become stressful and ineffective. Sometimes it just works best to know the topic that you are going to write about and just write. Simply letting your writing flow with too much thought can be a good thing but at the same time, it has its cons. Always make sure that you go back and revise your work. Check for mistakes and errors (below you are going to learn about an awesome tool that will eliminate your mistakes)
What if I am terrible at spelling, grammar, and punctuation?!
You are not alone! I am going to be totally real with you… I have to use spell check, a dictionary, and a thesaurus every time that I write a blog post. No joke, I just literally had my spell check correct like 5 things already.
Writing is not a strong suit for a lot of people regardless of your native language. There is just soo much to using correct grammar, punctuation, and spelling. English is my native and only language that I read, write, and speak. Yet, I write in broken English ALL OF THE TIME! There are a ton of people who need help writing and that is completely okay. Even the best writers and authors utilize tools to improve their writing skills.
Regardless of our strength in writing we always need a second set of eyes because mistakes happen. So thank God for tools that help people like myself write better content. I mean seriously what did we do before spell-check and auto-correction tools?! Now, that I have them I don’t know how I ever managed to get good grades on my papers in school without them.
I am going to share my secret with you of the number one tool that I use to make sure that my content is professional and mistake free!
You may or may not have already heard about this amazing tool before. But I am here to tell you, if you are not already utilizing it you NEED TO! Like Yesterday! I can’t tell you how many times I have been up till 5 am writing blog posts (Being completely honest, my writing is terrible when I’m tired!) I used to create more work for myself by having to go back revising and fixing my errors. Just to still make more errors.
With Grammarly, I no longer have to worry! It has saved me an incredible amount of time and embarrassment (from my writing mistakes). When I make a mistake Grammarly has my back. It is pretty much my best friend when it comes to writing blog content, social media posts, and writing emails.
What is Grammarly?
Grammarly is a free personal writing assistant. I’m sure that you have figured out by now that it is an AWESOME writing tool! It assures that your writing is effective and mistake free. You can sign up for it by downloading the app available for both iOS and Android or you can visit www.grammarly.com.
How does Grammarly work?
If you are using a computer I would advise downloading the Google Chrome web browser. You can do so here. Once you have it installed or if you already have it- install the Grammarly Chrome extension here. The extension will assure Grammarly is always enabled (while using the Chrome web browser). Once you have installed the extension Grammarly will get straight to business.
In order for it to work on your computer, you must always be using the Chrome browser. Unfortunately, at this time it is not available for other web browsers. While using Chrome Grammarly will always automatically be working behind the scenes.
If it finds mistakes in your writing it will underline the word or phrase in red. You simply click the underlined word or phrase and a Grammarly pop-up will display the recommended correction. To enable the suggested correction just click on the recommendation and it will automatically change.
If you are using a mobile device, you can download the Grammarly app. Once you have downloaded it you will need to activate the keyboard in order for it to work. You can do so by opening the Grammarly app to get started and follow the prompts- or by opening your settings app. Then click general>keyboards>add new keyboard>Grammarly. Once you have completed these steps click on the Grammarly keyboard option in the keyboard list and check to allow full access. Now, you’re ready to use the Grammarly keyboard.
*Note: The Grammarly keyboard may not automatically be in use when you are using your mobile device. To assure you are using the Grammarly keyboard click the icon on your particular device to switch keyboards. On iOS press and hold the globe icon on the bottom of your keyboard until you see a menu with keyboard options. Select Grammarly and it will immediately switch to your desired keyboard.
Why you need Grammarly
- It scans your writing for grammatical errors
- It checks your punctuation
- It provides you with detailed explanations to improve your writing skills and prevent you from making the same mistake in the future
- Helps communicate more effectively
- It is your professional proofreader
- Personal plagiarism checker
- It’s Free! (With an option to upgrade for more features which I recommend)
If you haven’t already it’s time to step up your writing game and get started with Grammarly! I promise you, you will not regret it! Once you have it you will wonder how you ever functioned without it.