Author Topic: Improving Writing Skills  (Read 479 times)

Edge of Reason

  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
  • *
  • Posts: 45
  • Location: Eastern Canada
Improving Writing Skills
« on: September 11, 2019, 08:10:38 AM »
I write a lot of technical documents at work and know that there is always room for improvement.

Can anyone recommend sites or online courses (preferably free) that focus on honing one's writing skills?

mavendrill

  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
  • *
  • Posts: 72
  • Location: Columbia SC
Re: Improving Writing Skills
« Reply #1 on: September 11, 2019, 06:30:13 PM »
I have a decade of experience teaching writing as a secondary skill, not technical writing but:
I don't believe any course will help much.  Feedback helps so much more than anything else, and almost nothing free will offer qualified feedback.
My advice is to find a good report someone else wrote and outline it.  Also break it down - how many sentences are there per paragraph, how many clauses per sentence.  Then do it again with a different report.  If you have a boss, ask if they have old reports you can see, and do it to theirs.  After writing 10 or so outlines, do the same to your reports.  As a general rule, small paragraphs filled with small sentences using big words will probably be the best writing.  And organize your work.  If you can't put it on an outline, omit it.

Also, edit your work.  Nothing is great on a first draft, and most second drafts are still not great.

SunshineGirl

  • Pencil Stache
  • ****
  • Posts: 761
Re: Improving Writing Skills
« Reply #2 on: September 11, 2019, 06:42:57 PM »
I use Grammarly regularly (premium), and it helps with grammar and sentence structure. I agree with the previous poster about finding some examples to model yours after. Ideally, your employer could pay for Grammarly.