Writing essays in a foreign language is almost the same as writing in your native language. There are some cultural and linguistic differences, but overall, it's safe to say that the process is quite similar if not identical.
However, the biggest challenge you may face when writing in a foreign language is simply the lack of knowledge that prevents you from crafting beautiful sentences. Here are ten tips on how to practice essay writing in a foreign language.
1. Read Books In A Foreign Language
Think back and remember how you read books in your native language in order to learn it. With a foreign language, the logic is the same. The more you read, the more your brain will remember. It will memorize certain grammatical structures, new vocabulary, idioms, and so much more. You might not even notice it as it may be happening on a subconscious level.
It is advised that you read different books, both fiction and non-fiction. Open Library has many works in various languages available for free, so you can start by downloading e-books from there. Then, you may want to move on to find essay collections to read in your chosen language.
2. Pay Attention To Grammar
Knowing grammar is crucial to writing a high-quality essay. You won't be able to succeed in your endeavor unless you know the rules of the language you are writing in, so make sure you studied them well before sitting down to write your essay.
"You can follow the advice given by Best Essay Education on how to make sure that you are following all the grammatical rules. Keep a reference paper with all the grammar structures to check when you are unsure of what to use while writing your essay," says a representative of the online writing service.
3. Remember About Punctuation
Punctuation is just as important as grammar. A single comma can change the meaning of a whole sentence or even the entirety of your essay. This is why you must carefully check what punctuation you are using in each sentence.
Keep in mind that punctuation rules vary with each language. For instance, the Greek language uses ";" instead of "?" to put at the end of questions, while Spanish uses a normal question mark at the end and an upside-down one at the beginning of questions.
4. Start Out Easy
Instead of jumping right in and becoming the next Shakespeare, carefully think through your steps. There is no need to hurry; after all, it won't help you that much and can even harm you. What you must do is to make small steps if you are just starting with essay writing in a foreign language.
"As we say at Studicus, "It's better to be sure in your small first steps than to fall while running right from the start." It's as simple as that: start out small and then move on to bigger things," says a representative of the online writing service.
5. Focus On Being Correct
Our brains are programmed to remember the things we tend to repeat or focus on. This means that if you only think about the mistakes in your writing, there is a big chance that you will continue making these mistakes.
So, to change that, think about your positive sides. Maybe you like that you made fewer spelling mistakes than the last time you wrote an essay. Maybe you love it how you structured you writing this time. Concentrate on these things and make them a habit. But, of course, don't forget to try and correct your mistakes.
6. Get Feedback On Your Work
Getting feedback on your work is essential to be able to improve your writing. Once you wrote an essay, ask a friend, a family member, or anyone else who knows the language to read it and give you feedback. If they are willing to, let them check it for mistakes and ask them to explain why some things work while others don't.
"We always have someone proofread our work. We are professionals, but even we make mistakes sometimes, so we have editors who check such things for us. Getting feedback is not something to be ashamed of," says Marie Fincher, a writer for Trust My Paper and WOWgrade.
7. Learn Different Styles
Of course, essay writing can stay the primary genre you write in, but if you are seeing the bigger picture and want to pursue learning the language outside of your studies, then learning different styles of writing will be of great help to you.
Some styles that may be useful for you in the future include business letters and documents, cover letters, and resumes. You can also learn internet slang, but what you choose to study depends on your goals.
8. Keep A Journal
In order to constantly practice and perfect your writing skills, keep a journal that you will be regularly contributing to. It can be anything from a diary to an essay collector. Writing about mundane things will help you get more comfortable with the language.
By the way, there have been studies that proved that writing about positive things improves your mood and well-being, so try focusing on the good experiences you had throughout the day.
9. Be Patient
Don't go hard on yourself. Keep in mind that writing is often one of the hardest skills for language learners to master. It takes time to really get into it and reach the level you desire to be at.
Set small goals for yourself and accomplish them slowly. This will motivate you to go on and not give up in the hardest of days. Don't forget to reward yourself for your accomplishments!
10. Remember That Writing Is A Process
Lastly, remember that writing is a process. You can't become fluent all at once. Constantly remind yourself that you will be able to achieve things with time. That and being patient are perhaps the two most important tips any language learner could get.
All in all, writing in a foreign language is not as complicated as you may think. Practice and dedication will improve your writing skills and as a result, you will be able to write essays just as well as native speakers.