Every skill you have mastered reflects your ability to build a strong foundation in the focus area and then practice on a regular basis. Just as with these skills, mastering writing in English will come as a result of establishing a strong structural foundation, i.e. grammar, and having a broad vocabulary range from which to choose just the right word in any given context. Above all, it will take a lot of practice and patience, and good resources and feedback.
This is where WritetoTop can help.
Start with Grammar
Spoken and written English are almost two different languages. With the former, you can communicate as much with your words as with your hands, face, body, and voice. When it comes to written English, you have just the words and the punctuation on the page. Spoken English also gives you the opportunity to get instant reaction or feedback and to clarify your meaning right away; this not usually the case with written work. A text you submit to someone will usually be read when you are not there, so it must be clear from the start.
To make your message clear and easy to digest, it must be properly written. This means it must be solidly established on good grammar and vocabulary (see below). This includes the correct parts of speech, subject-verb agreement, numbers, proper sentence structures, the right prepositions and articles, and many other elements.
This site presents the main points of grammar that you need to study or review in order to write better sentences, paragraphs, essays, letters, reports, etc. Begin with the fundamentals, including the parts of speech, the independent clause as well as the different sentence types. Once you are confident in what these are and how they work, move on to the more advanced grammar points, such as clause types, participles, set structures, and punctuation.
You can study/review all the grammar material on the site for free. However, if you would like more in-depth examples and practice material, these are available for a small fee.
Go to the Grammar pages now for more information and sample exercises.
Simultaneously Build Your Vocabulary
As you strengthen your grammar base, you should also build up your vocabulary bank. You can do this at WritetoTop in several ways:
WOTD—Every day (Monday to Saturday) we post a Word of the Day entry on the blackboard on the homepage. Study these words each day, including the definition and especially the synonyms. On Saturdays we will post the article or speech from which we chose the words so that you can see these words in action. At the end of each month, we post a quiz on that month’s words for you to test your knowledge.
Read through this site—This site is full of high-end vocabulary, and we have included a link to the dictionary (at the bottom of every page). Words that we feel are useful for you to know are clickable—click on them to see synonyms or a definition of the word. To illustrate, click on the word illustrate.
Vochunks—We have developed a system for remembering vocabulary quickly by learning them in focused groups, or chunks (vocabulary chunks — Vochunks). For example, you can learn words related to time, or place, or people, among many other groupings. This way, you can connect the words to their chunk and remember their context, thus learning words by association. Each word in a chunk is presented with other common forms (parts of speech), synonyms, a definition, sample sentences, and references to other meanings where applicable. For a small fee, each Vochunk also comes with exercises to practice what you’ve learned, as well as quizzes and tests and membership in our exclusive members’ forum.
For more information, see the VoChunks page.
Ready for the next step? Start Writing
Once you’ve built up a strong base of grammar, vocab, structure, and all the essential foundational components of the language, you can begin working on essay writing. We will walk you through the entire process, from interpreting the task to planning, writing, and editing your draft. We will also look at other writing styles, such as summaries, reports, and letters. Though this section focuses primarily on writing for tests (IELTS, TOEFL, etc.), the principles can be easily applied to other areas, such as academic business, or even personal.
Visitors to WritetoTop can also sign up for an exclusive course (available May 2016) that includes video lessons to complement the on-site content, as well as membership in the forum to ask questions and complete tasks.
For more information, see the Writing page.
Need to take a language or university entrance exam? Prep here
We have several pages of IELTS test preparation material to help you prepare for your test. Many of the insights and strategies can also be applied to other tests, though we will build up separate pages for these as well. Soon we will have pages for TOEFL, SAT, GRE and GMAT, CAE/CPE, TOEIC, and others. We are also creating videos on YouTube to help you study better, practice your listening skills, and work on other aspects of test taking.
A great way to learn to write is to see good samples of the styles you need to learn. In our Samples pages we have different levels of essays, letters, reports, and summaries from our writers as well as from students. We show you what a band 6 essay (IELTS) looks like as well as what a score 26 essay (TOEFL) looks like and we point out why students lost points and what they did well.
See our Samples page now.
Resources (a.k.a., the Brain Mine)
Apart from the essentials of the language, there are many specifics that need to be mastered in order to read and write well. These are the items that often give learners of English a difficult time because they don’t seem to follow any rules. In the Brain Mine you can see many lists such as irregular verbs and plurals, commonly misspelled words, common abbreviations, and others. By studying these lists you can avoid common errors. We also have an idea bank, which helps you prepare for your tests by providing you with some ideas to use for your essays. Mine our brains and get lots of useful information.
Studying alone is not easy and sometimes you have no way of knowing if you are improving or staying at the same spot. For those who want professional feedback on your writing or speaking abilities in terms of test preparation, we offer assessments at a reasonable price and with high quality and effective feedback. We can also help you with specific writing projects that you need to submit.
For more information, visit our Services page.