Before reading, make sure your read my previous one on: Writing – The Why And The Essence
What Is Meant By “Writing Good English” ?
The meaning of ‘good English‘, and hence writing good English, may vary from people to people around the world since we come from different backgrounds and due to the nature of our education. Despite the fact that there is no governing bodies of linguists to gauge its exact meaning, we do have a standard set by the authorities indulged in linguistics. Hence, sensible authors, careful writers and educated people using English language as their medium of writing, try to conform to these standards as closely as they can. These standards may be grammatical rules, language structure, and universally accepted words, idioms or metaphors.
English Language, IMHO The Best
There are so many languages nowadays which can be used, but the English language is the most widely used (and universally accepted formal language). In my humble opinion, English language includes and transcends all subjects. It is for English writers and lovers a whole means of expression, the attainment of which makes them articulate and intelligible human beings, able to inherit the past, to possess the present and to confront the future. The ability to write good English is simply an art for them.
My Own Experience With Writing – Good English A Myth?
I was not so fluent or good at writing English in my early days of school. I was always favoring French, the second official language of my country – Mauritius. There were some personal reasons which I will not elaborate right now to keep on the subject title. But one main reason was that I was always scoring an ‘A’ in all my French classes despite the fact that I was never doing any French essays or practicing it.
This fact was initially a mystery to me because I was always trying my best to write good English and I was never successful in getting good results. Then, I finally remembered I was frequently reading some one or two pages of French books every day. Yeah I mean it, I loved the famous French book – ‘Les Six Compagnons de la Croix Rousse, by Jean Jacques Bonzo‘ and this made reading French more than just a hobby.
I was reading in my free times (when there was an empty class session when teachers were busy or absent), sometimes during recess, in the bus and at night just to finish all its series. Like this, my hunger for French adventure books became a craze. But in this process, I was unaware that while reading so much, French words seemed to have become hackneyed phrases.
This is why my friends used to tell me: “man, where do you fetch all these nice French wordings?“. What I want to emphasize here is; if you keep reading and looking at English/French words or a small sentence everyday for at least some 30 minutes, you will end up with these words soaked into your mind without realising it. And when you will start to write English, you will be amazed to see your mind popping out nice words; that’s how you will progress to write good English!
While reading you should build up a personal ‘database‘ of special words or phrases. Get a small copy book and list down all striking, unknown words to you. Therefore, be regular in breeding a medley of nice words in your special ‘note-book‘. Those precious words are your key to writing good English.
Now, does this mean that you should read everyday? Not really, but you should definitely go through your smorgasbord of words in your note-book everyday! I strongly believe that there are 2 kinds of people – one who read very very often, if not everyday, to master the language (as i did unknowingly for the French language) and the second person who read little, but nurturing a high mastery of the basics and techniques of the English language (this one was my conscious experience with English).
But here, the key tricks are:
- Each time and every single time you read, you should keep growing your ‘database’ of words. Keep looking for new prominent words.
- Make the English dictionary be your bosom English friend – never keep a word in your book without finding and writing down it’s meaning. Else, do not bother about even writing it down – trust me!
- You should pinpoint good critical articles/books, think about what you are reading and in this process be generous to yourself by taking notes conscientiously of new golden words. This is because you are reading rarely and hence you should make those rare readings worth 10 times the ones that you would read everyday. So you have to be very selective and analytical in what you will read.
- Now that you have a copy-book full of defined words, don’t just sit around and smile at it. Go and put them into practice. Start by writing good sentences with these words and write some essays. Writing here is pivotal. Just like a car cannot run without a battery, you cannot expect to have a fluent English if you do not practice writing English. (the battery being your skill in writing and your car the knowledge of the language and wordings)
Support Your Effort To Write Good English With Observation
Going further in our approach, while reading decent articles, you should see how Mr X is using his words in his articles. Observe how he constructs his sentences. Then, with your analytical and critical reading, coupled with your observation and some personal insights, you should try to emulate the fresh expressiveness of Mr X.
How to do this, you say? Sit down, try to write a good English sentence where you can use those words better than Mr X. You will once again be amazed at yourself at how well you performed. You will even be seeing yourself gaining momentum and hence writing good English paragraphs. Reward yourself after your hard work, you deserve it!
=> I sincerely hope this article on ‘how to write good English‘ and my effort to explain it to you, has been fruitful for you. If you do like I explain, there is no excuse in not being able to produce good quality English writings. And I wish you all the best
What’s Next Concerning Writing Good?
My aim is to make you say ‘Wonderful‘ by bringing decent piece of work (written by me). So, keep supporting Wakish Wonderz and subscribe to my free email list to receive secret quality tips weekly. My next article is on ‘GP Essays – how to write General Paper essays‘. This is particular targeted to students taking part in HSC Cambridge students as an addition to this article.
Before ending, I will sincerely advise you to buy or get a copy of this book below. This book was prescribed to me by my English/GP Guru and I should say that I salutes my Guru for this book, it’s a treasure to me!(You will indeed come back and thank me for having shown you this book!)