Saturday, 24 February, 2024
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OPINION

Writing Skills



Dixya Poudel

Writing is an effective means of communication. Beginning students learn their alphabets first with proper pronunciations and gradually learn to spell and spin words into sentences, then paragraphs and pages. There is no refuting how important writing skills are in today’s time and age. From school exams and papers to university degrees, most of the learning is carried out through writing.

Before commencing forward on any write-up, you must first be clear on who your readers or audiences are. What are you trying to convey? Why are you penning the piece? You ought to be certain about your purpose which will help you express your ideas clearly. Then you should move on to gathering information. Here brainstorming comes at an advantage. Brainstorming is a process during which one writes freely on paper or MS Word without worrying about grammar and other errors. One can further try out taking notes. Meanwhile, one can also build a mind map to help recall arguments, ideas and information to build on the work.

When you have determined the purpose of your writing - whether it is formal or informal, for a class or for publication - and gathered enough information, you can seriously start writing. Your work should concretely express your thesis statement. As such, a thesis statement highlights the main point or the theme of your written piece. A good thesis not just states the writer’s defining opinion, it also asserts one particular idea in a specific term.

As you are building your work and providing information and necessary arguments, descriptions and explanations, you must be able to use paragraphs effectively. A paragraph should state a topic sentence which should further be elaborated and illustrated with concise sentences. Finally, you can sum up at the end of each paragraph. You ought to keep in mind the proper usage of linkers which will allow your readers to move smoothly between sentences.

The beginning and the end of an essay, paper, letter, articles, etc. should be unique, relevant and salient. The beginning of your work will attract the attention of the readers. The body of your work will elucidate, clarify and explain on your thesis. Finally, the end or conclusion will leave the readers pondering on your main points. You can begin with a quotation, a story, anecdote, a contrast or a question. Likewise, you can end with reiteration of your thesis statement, a call to action, a quotation from an authority or an evaluation of the importance of your work’s subject.

These are useful tips while writing. But there are different discourses on writing all of which should be written accordingly. Such discourses are narration, exposition, argumentation and description. Narration involves writing in a chronological and temporal order often in a creative manner. You can use simplicity on a conversational style with individual turn of phrases and vivid vocabulary.

Exposition includes writing that explains a process and further instructs, directs and advices on a topic. Argumentation is about arguing points on a subject and finally description is about picture making through words. To be able to express yourself through writing is an ability that becomes more efficient as you write. Like most skills, it can be improved on and refined with different tests and trials with style, vocabulary, methods, expressions, arguments and rhetoric.