If you’re a member of the ELB mailing list you may have seen that I’m working on a new guide to improved writing skills. The idea is to present advanced writing tips for learners of English as a foreign language – a guide based on how the language functions, as opposed to as a creative art (which may have value for native speakers, too!). To introduce the book, I want to share the chapter topics that I currently have planned, and I welcome feedback on any additional topics you’re interested in – or ideas/hopes for how these will be discussed!
Writing as a skill
Beyond the basics, good writing is a skill rather than a set of rules, so this book aims to go beyond the rules to inspire confidence in fluent, personal writing. It’s a guide for how to think about these topics and rules, rather than a reference book for correct usage. For example, while I may cover some points of correct punctuation, the chapter on punctuation is intended to highlight areas of punctuation that are flexible – including when they are flexible and how such flexibility can be effectively applied.
It’s also my intention to create a fairly comprehensive look at the study of writing in different mediums. Many ideas for what makes “effective writing” are highly dependent on context – and with that in mind the book will have two parts – the first concerning general writing principles and craft, the second covering considerations for writing in specific areas.
So, please take a look at the current contents list below and see what you think! Are there any topics you don’t see included, or any that you want to cover a specific topic? Let me know! Note – these are all working titles designed to illustrate the topics I have in mind – and they may all be subject to change.
Planned contents of the ELB writing skills book
Part 1 – Writing Craft
- Describing Words (possibly expanding to descriptive language)
- Perspective (i.e. first person, second person)
- Choice of Tense
- Passive / Active Voice
- Formal Language
- Informal Language
- Political Correctness (i.e. offensive writing)
- Persuasive Writing
- Punctuation (conventions and exceptions, as with the next 3 chapters)
- Capital Letters
- Practice (i.e. ideas for improving your writing)
- Tips for Faster Writing
- Bending the Rules (i.e. overall thoughts on being flexible)
Part 2 – Examples
- Cover Letters
- Social Media
- Academic Writing
- Narratives (particularly storytelling, creative writing)
- Online Articles (blogs)
- Sales Copy
- Reports and Summaries
If you’d like to keep updated about the book and you’re not a member of the mailing list, be sure to join to be the first to know when the book’s released!