If you want to be an authentic Spanish writing professional, take note of these simple tips and implement them to surprise your readers.
1. Brainstorm before writing so that you decide exactly what you want to say and how can you “mix” all those ingredients so that we get a good text. If you don’t have any ideas or you feel stuck, read other essays or similar texts that may inspire you.
2. If it is a specific text format, such as a formal letter to apply for a job or a report to file a complaint, find out what structure and what idioms or collocations should always be present so that you can include them in your text.
3. Always keep in mind, who is your text addressed to. Whenever a text is written, it is written for someone to read it. Therefore, you always have to think about making the reading pleasant and interesting for the reader. The same register is not used, nor are the same subjects chosen, in an article for a magazine read by a general public, than for a specialized journal. Just like an email is not written in the same way to a friend, than, for example, an email to a company sending your resume.
A good tip so that the reader likes your writing is to call their attention by means of an interesting title or asking a question at the beginning since that will awaken their curiosity.
4. Be careful with your spelling. Having a good spelling makes a positive impression of your text. Spelling makes it look authentic and truthful. In addition, good spelling gives a professional and reliable image of the person who writes.
5. Use connectors to give coherence to the text. Do you remember the ideas mentioned in point number one? Well, it’s time to use those connectors to explain the relationship that exists between them and that your text does not seem simply a list of ideas.
6. Pay attention to the order of words, or what is the same, do not neglect the syntax. In general, a written text is usually formal and, therefore, it is recommended to keep the traditional order “subject + verb + objects”. Keeping this order also helps you to express yourself in a simpler way and explicitly.
7. Use synonyms to avoid repetitions in Spanish because we think repetition makes reading your text boring and heavy.
8. Revise you text. Once you have your text, whatever the type it is, you should check the writing, grammar and spelling. Also, pay attention to the content so that you can see if it is appropriate and if you have expressed it in a reader-friendly way. Rereading what you have written will allow you to correct mistakes and delete repetitive phrases that do not clarify or provide any idea.
9. Let someone read what you have written and give you some feedback before creating your final version. This person will become your personal editor and will tell you which ideas are less clear, if there are confusing phrases in your text and what are the positive points that you can reinforce.
10. Try to write daily. As any other activity you learn, writing requires regular practice. It is not necessary that you write a lot of pages everyday, but you can write small posts in a blog or, simply, write in a diary. The most important thing is that you practice often.
10 + 1. What you should NOT do is to write the text in your native language first and then translate it literally. This way, te only thing you’re doing is to practice the grammatical structures that you have learned in the mechanical grammar exercises, without taking into account that there are expressions such as idioms and collocations that don’t follow the general grammatical rules, as well as there are some types of texts, that can be completely different in one and the other language. An example:
- What an English speaker thinks in their mother tongue Your visit made my day
- If this is translated literally the result would be: * Tu visita me ha hecho el día, which does not mean the same in Spanish. In order to express this in Spanish, we have a different collocation: Tu visita me ha alegrado el día.
Raquel Díez González / Practica Español