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How to Improve Writing Style in 5 Steps

Your writing style involves all the choices that you make when expressing your ideas. From the words you choose to the way that you structure your sentences, everything that you do when you write impacts your style. (For more on what style is, check out Magoosh’s Intro to Style video.) Of course, your personality and voice play a part in this, too. Here are five steps for how to improve writing style.

1. Compose Solid Sentences

By varying your sentence structure, you can make your writing more engaging and interesting. What can you do to vary your sentences? Change things up. Use simple, compound, and complex sentences. Ask questions. Turn the sentence around by starting with the object or the verb. For example, “Effortlessly rounding the bend, she raced toward the finish line.”

2. Craft Smooth Transitions

To write a five-paragraph essay, elementary school students often move between ideas with simple transition words: first, second, then, next, finally, in conclusion, etc. As you move beyond these simple essay formats, it’s time to expand your paragraph transition repertoire, too. You don’t have to use transition words—although, they can be helpful at times—but you need to use topic sentences and related ideas to move from one point to the next in a way that will seamlessly lead the reader through your ideas.

3. Choose Interesting Words

When using a conversational tone, you should keep your words simple, removing any unnecessary words. However, this doesn’t mean you should stick to vague, bland, or cliché words either. The words you choose will not only help your reader better understand the topic, but they also speak to your personality and writing style. Try to choose interesting words that really paint a vivid picture for the reader and clarify the meaning you want to convey.

4. Create a Rhythm

Poetry is known for having rhythm. The words seem to dance across your tongue as you read them out loud. However, you can add rhythm to your writing even if you’re not composing a poem. Look at the punctuation, sentence length and structure, stress patterns, and other factors. When considering how to improve writing style, try reading your writing out loud and see how the words dance across the page for you.

5. Customize Metaphors

Metaphors are a type of figurative language that use comparisons to link two objects that don’t seem to be related. For example, “she’s a night owl” or “life is a rollercoaster.” Although the woman is not an actual owl and life doesn’t actually involve riding rollercoasters all day, these comparisons paint a picture in your mind to help you understand what the author thinks about the woman, or their life. Create your own metaphors that speak to your personality and help share your thoughts about something in a unique and interesting way.

How to Improve Writing Style: Final Thoughts

As you develop your style, read some of your favorite books and pay attention to the author’s style. Think about the things that he or she does to make the writing interesting and engaging. Remember that practice is the key. The more you write, the more likely you’ll discover your voice and your personal style.

P.S. Become a better writer. Find out more here.

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