English writing

Many learners find writing skills in English to be the hardest part of the language. Few people are great writers, even in their native languages. Of course, writing in a foreign language is even tougher.

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However, learning how to improve writing skills in English has fantastic benefits. Firstly, creating texts in a non-native language greatly benefits your memory and increases your reading and listening comprehension. In addition, understanding how to structure sentences or paragraphs helps you become a better speaker and presenter.

We collected useful resources that can help you improve English writing skills.

English writing

What is English writing all about?

Writing comes from the Old English word “wrītan,” which also meant drawing. Humans are visual creatures, so it was natural for us to connect our eyes with our speaking ability. However, written language needs incredible brainpower to develop - historians still can’t agree where it came from. In the modern world, writing is your ability to share factual information, thoughts, and ideas in physical or digital form. 

English writing practice helps you to:

Present facts, ideas, concepts, and commentary in different forms.

Structure texts depending on their purpose, length, and context.

Tell stories that create a personal connection between you and the reader.

Clearly deliver important information, such as in business correspondence.

English writing reference guide

Learn how to improve English writing skills with Promova:

1. General Writing Skills

Main skills that every learner should practice. They help you write better sentences, structure texts, and connect your ideas. General skills improve your overall ability to communicate in English, even outside of writing.

Grammar

Covers the rules you need to write in English. Includes sentence creation, word order, parts of speech, tenses, and more.

Vocabulary

Covers the words you need to write about different topics. Starts with general terms and expands to cover specific jargon, idioms, etc.

Structure

Covers your ability to craft and link sentences in a way that others can understand. Includes compound sentences with complex punctuation.

Organization

Covers planning and organizing texts. Starts with paragraphs and expands into subtopics or entire tables of content for longer works.

Tone

Covers different ways to deliver information based on the audience. It can be formal, informal, educational, entertaining, and so on.

Communication Style

Covers large changes in texts based on their purpose. Styles can be personal, descriptive, persuasive, narrative, and so on.

Editing

Covers the practice of working with finished texts to improve them. Starts with proofreading and can include changing large parts of the original.

Note-taking

Covers your ability to take useful and meaningful notes. Adjusting your speed and number of details based on specific content.

Engagement

Covers different aspects of getting and keeping the reader’s attention. It can include storytelling, creative writing, and other soft skills.

2. Business Writing.

Professional writing for work-related activities. Improve your general skills first, then write about specific topics at the workplace. Business writing skills help you communicate clearly and professionally.

Resumes and CVs

Covers creating a professional resume or CV and editing it to fit the job position you’re applying for.

Correspondence

Covers a wide range of messages you’ll need to write at the workplace - emails, DMs, references, and so on.

Presentations

Covers collecting information and structuring key points of a presentation for your colleagues and clients.  

Contracts

Covers writing a variety of formal business agreements. Includes employment contracts, terms of sale, non-disclosure agreements, etc.

Reports

Covers structuring and writing different types of reports depending on your job position and standards at your workplace.

Documentation

Covers internal or external communications. For example, writing a manual about your product or creating standards for your team.

Accounting

Covers a range of topics specific to financial reporting and transactions. Precise writing that relies heavily on statistics.

Sales Proposals

Covers your ability to write sales materials about products or services. Combines presentations, correspondence, and contract skills.

Specific Materials

Covers different types of writing specifically for your business. Depends on your job, audience, and market.

3. Academic Writing.

Writing in different fields of science and research. Focus on data, concepts, and ideas to deliver objective information. Academic writing skills help you communicate in a neutral tone about a wide range of complex topics.

Essays

Covers your ability to write essays of different lengths about various academic topics in your area of expertise.

Summaries

Covers collecting concepts from papers, books, and other materials to summarize them in your own words. 

Planning

Covers outlining academic texts in order to understand key points and fill information gaps in your writing.

Research

Covers collecting information and writing your own research. Includes referencing, structuring, and editing papers.

Critical Writing

Covers critical thinking skills needed for examining your own or other people’s writing. 

Analysis

Covers different approaches to writing analytical texts. Includes deductive and inductive reasoning in writing. 

Education

Covers creating texts for instructing your colleagues and students. It can be domain-specific or general education in your field.

Literature Review

Covers summarizing available literature for specific research needs. Can exist independently or as part of other academic works.

Expert Opinions

Covers your ability to write about different topics within your area of expertise in formal and informal contexts.

Test your English writing skills

Take a 20-minute online English test and get immediate feedback about your skills. Then, go back to see your mistakes and find ways to improve. Receive suggestions about how you can improve your English further. Learn languages smarter with Promova.

Test my skills

4 Ways to improve your writing online with Promova

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People often ask

What are some good tips on how to learn English writing?

Here are some helpful ways to get started:

  • Don’t use the translator. Your native language can stand in the way of learning. Instead, try looking up English words and definitions in the same language to practice.
  • Read before you write. Reading will improve your vocabulary. You’ll learn to copy your favorite content and eventually develop your own writing style if you read a lot.
  • Take notes. Notes will help you structure your texts and keep track of important ideas. Even if you directly copy what someone else wrote, you can remember it better.
  • Improve other English skills. Listening and speaking will help vocalize words and phrases in your own head. Improve your comprehension skills as much as possible.

Practice is always a great way to improve. To find out more on how to learn writing in English, practice with a tutor or try the Promova app and get powerful language learning tools to get you started.

At what level of English can I write without struggling?

This depends on what you’re writing about and your own comfort level. For example, you can comfortably write about familiar topics as a B1 student. However, some learners find writing more challenging, especially if they’re not used to it in their native languages. So your experience will depend on your abilities, interests, and personal goals.

Generally, writing about complex topics is always a challenge, regardless of your level. But most people also find it incredibly rewarding for personal and professional development. After all, even famous native English writers often talk about how difficult it is and how great it feels to succeed at it.

How much vocabulary do I need to write in English?

Firstly, average native speakers know around 20,000 and 30,000 words. However, language learners at a basic level of fluency tend to only use about 3,000. That’s enough to speak and write about common topics in your area of interest.

Instead of focusing on vocabulary, try to improve your general language skills. Once you get to B2 and above, you should be able to independently use English to comfortably look up any new words and not need dedicated vocabulary learning. In other words, you can improve while you use the language if you have the right foundations.