How can we improve our writing skills?

Hi, I’m Shohruh from Uzbekistan. This is a really good FORUM and the e-mail course by Torsten is brilliant but it’s a pity that we can’t have the lessons regularly.And I preparing for upcoming exams, can anyone tell me how I can improve my English and writing skills? Thanks in advance!!![/b]

Hello Shohruh,

Make use of mind-maps; in the middle you write the title and in the connected boxes you write the sub-topics, which you can use as topics for separate paragraphs.

You add more detailed information next to the boxes of the subtopics in order to pre-structure your brainstormed-ideas.

This helps you to organise your ideas faster and better (and come forward with more ideas than omitting the mind-map), write coherently and save precious time.

Good luck

Ozzy (nickname)

Thanks Ozzy, I will try as you advised me but I couldn’t understand the word “mind-map”. Can you explain it more precisely, please?

With best regards

There is a video on you tube by mind tool vids, they explain it clearly.

I don’t know if we are allowed to place links here from other websites, if so, I’ll place it.

Regards from Mexico and good luck.

Hi Ozzy,

If it’s on YouTube, just copy the page URL and post it on a line of its own in your message. The software will automatically embed the video.

Thank you for clarifying my doubt Beeesneees, … r_embedded

Kind regards

Thanks a lot for your help Ozzy. That’s very kind of you.

You are welcome,

If it is of help for you, I am happy.

Regards from Mexico

Can you tell more about your country? I think it’s very beautiful. In exchange I will tell you about my country. I will be grateful if you will write about yourself too. I just want to know you closely.

thanks and regards

The country where I live (Mexico) is not my hometown.

I mainly teach Business English at companies, but also prepare students for the FCE and CAE.

My hometown is Holland, a bit to the South.

In short it is a beautiful country, clean; organised and flat landscapes.

I loved to go rowing on a canal at a local rowing club; I used to row for about 7 years and took part in some tournements and trips.

For some years I would work on a steam-tug boat in the early nineties, as a hobby.

We usually went to festivals around the country and sailed with passengers for half-hour trips at site; they loved taking a look in the engine room. It had a lot off brass and copper-work, moreover, a fascinating view of an open-engine with its pistons up and running.

Explanations were given about the kettle, how to built the fire and keep it going correctly; the functioning of the three-piston engine, and so on.

Sailing at night was my maximum; seeing the lights on the shore, feeling the refreshing breeze in my face while I was winding down on the deck - you’re being in a different world.

Sailing on this historic ship was an amizing experience; meeting many interesting people and being shown a variety of engine-rooms of other tug boats as well as huge vessels was almost a natural thing.
The ship was built in 1920, had a Scottish kettle with a capacity of 8000 litres in total; 5000 for water and 3000 for steam, the working pressure in difficult weather-conditions was 8 bar.

Studying was required: A book “how to built proper fire for a scottish-kettle steam-engine” dated from 1947, had to be gone through - it wasn’t just a matter of throwing some coals on the fire, actually.

A picturesque place to visit is Volendam, it has a fishing-harbour and its inhabitants dedicate themselves mainly to fishing.

This town is also famous for its musicians; the lake was probably insirational to them.

I wish you all the best with your essay and look forward to reading your reply.

Ozzy (nickname)

Hi, Ozzy
Uzbekistan is one of the countries situated in the Central Asia. Its population is about 26 million people. It covers the territory more than 447900 sq. km. It borders on Kazakhstan and Terkmenistan in the north and in the south. In the south-western it is washed by the Aral Sea. The Aral sea becoming less and less and causing a lot of harm to the people who live nearby the sea. Uzbekistan is rich in its natural resources: oil and gas, soil, different oz. Together with good geographical position and climate conditions it makes it possible for the development of intensive agriculture. Uzbekistan is an independent, democratic, sovereign legal state. It is a republic. The political center of Uzbekistan is its capital Tashkent. It is considered to be its administrative, scientific and cultural center, too. Tashkent manages to reflect its past and at the same time to fulfil the functions of the modern city. Besides the capital of the country there are many other places which are worth speaking about and seeing.[/img]

Thank you for your reply Ooshoha1995,

That sounds interesting, especially as it is a country I have heard from, but had absolutely no inside information; it was more like a closed “black box”.

I see you have been pretty active so far.

I have to prepare some classes now, I’ll write soon with some information about Mexico.



Hi Shohruh,

The best way to learn English is to write a lot and read a lot. Write everything. Read everything.

If you’re a creative type, write stories and novels. If you’re a logical type, write essays. I’m currently writing a novel, and in the last six months I’ve learned more than I did in the last ten years.

The key is to pay attention to everything you read and write. For example, if I write “It borders on Kazakhstan and Terkmenistan,” I’d wonder if it is “borders on,” “borders with,” or simply “borders.” If I can look it up in the dictionary right away, I would. If not, I write it down. Then when I read in the newspapers or a novel and see its usage, I’d make a note of it.

For a novel, I would read it twice, sometimes three times. The first time, I read for the story, but on the second time, I pay attention to how the author uses the language.

Hi, Johnny. Thank’s for your tips. I think I am a creative type and I should write more essays. It is difficult to begin an essay but after beginning it is just flip of a coin would do. What advice can you give me how I should begin an essay?