There are a lot of very poorly written articles on the internet and this author has come across too many of them. This does not include blogs – especially personal blogs – where anyone can write in any manner or style that he or she likes. The articles referred to are found on content sites like the one on which you are currently reading this article. Content sites are supposed to be places on the internet where people can find quality results for their search terms. With the level of writing seen on some of the articles published on these sites, this is certainly not always the case. Even more puzzling is that a good number of these poor articles are written by freelance writers whose first language is English.
Fortunately, there are ways to create better-worded, error-free and factually-correct articles. The following resources should help most writers eliminate errors from their work:
Use a Proper Word Processor
If freelance writers use proper word processors and not basic ones like WordPad or Notepad, most writing errors will be avoided. Proper word processors check your text for spelling mistakes, wrong tense, improper grammar, incorrect capitalization, inappropriate spelling for your intended language, repeated words, and word spacing errors and so on.
The most popular word processor is Microsoft Word which is part of the Microsoft Office suite but if you want an equally reliable word processor for free, there is the open source OpenOffice. Other free word processors include AbiWord and KWord.
Tips for Using a Word Processor
– Make sure it is set to the appropriate language that you are writing in e.g. American English.
– Do not ignore errors highlighted by the word processor. At least 80% of the time, the word processor correctly picks out errors in your typing. At other times, it may just be a word that it does not recognize. Make sure you consider all of them carefully.
– Turn on the auto-correct feature if it is not turned on by default. This automatically corrects your misspellings. Be careful when using this because it may correct words which you intend to be spelt the way you have typed them.
– Use the word count to keep your article length reasonable.
Use a Dictionary/Thesaurus
Shakespeare is reputed to have had a vocabulary of about 29000 words and it is one of the reasons why his literary works are still some of the best around almost 400 years after his death. Therefore, an extensive vocabulary is essential for any writer and which is why a dictionary and thesaurus are indispensable. A dictionary allows you to understand the meaning of words and how they can be used in different contexts. Dictionaries also provide pronunciation.
A thesaurus provides you with synonyms (words with similar meanings) which you can use instead of using a certain word repeatedly in your article. It also provides you with antonyms (words that are opposite in meaning). Make sure to use a synonym that is suitable contextually and learn the word so that you can use it at other times.
You may own a dictionary or thesaurus in book form but installing a dictionary/thesaurus application on your computer is better. A good example is WordWeb. It provides synonyms and antonyms and it is free. There are other dictionary applications that you can download for free from the internet. You can also make use of online sites like dictionary.com or thesaurus.com; the only disadvantage here is that they cannot be used offline.
Learn to Type Using a Typing Tutor
A typing tutor helps you to become proficient at touch typing which is typing without having to look at the keyboard. When you carry out touch typing, it enables you to concentrate on the screen and immediately pick out mistakes as you type. In addition, touch typing is also much faster than searching for each key before you press it.
There are various typing tutors available for free download from the internet. You may also make use of online typing tutors.
Use the Internet
From the above mentioned, you can already see how useful the internet is. You can download free software to improve your writing process or make use of those resources online if you prefer. However, the point here is to use the internet to properly research your articles before publishing them. There is a lot of information on the internet but most of it may not be comprehensive, concise or well written. You certainly do not want to add to the jumble out there by creating an equally mediocre article. Since you are writing for a content site, it is reasonable to look up all that information and write it better or add to the information you already have. Just make sure to properly cite all your sources if required.
In conclusion, the most important fact about all the resources mentioned above is that they can be obtained for free. Therefore, no writer has a valid excuse for not using them.
Write For A Site That Requires an Editor’s Approval: If your articles are always rejected or sent back for revision, it is a clear sign that your article writing skills need to be improved.
Write For A Site Where Your Articles Are Rated or Ranked: Receiving poor ratings on your articles or seeing them at or near the bottom of the rankings will give you the jolt needed to improve your writing.