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How to Journal in English

Updated: Sep 16, 2023

Is writing a necessary skill?

Writing is a powerful tool for self-expression and personal growth. Whether it's in the form of a journal, a blog, or a novel, writing allows you to process your thoughts and emotions, and to connect with others. But the benefits of writing go beyond just the practical and tangible outcomes. In addition, research has shown that people who read and write regularly tend to be more intelligent and happy. In this blog post, we'll explore some of the ways that writing can enrich your life and help you become a happier, more fulfilled person.

How can I start thinking in English?

The best way to start thinking in English is to start writing in English, and the most effective way to boost your writing skills is through regular journaling. Writing in a journal can help you improve your grammar, vocabulary, and sentence structure. Now, let’s discuss the steps you can take to turn journaling into an effective and life-long habit.

1. Set a regular time to journal

One of the keys to successful journaling is consistency. Try to set aside a specific time each day or each week to write in your journal. This could be first thing in the morning, before bed, or during your lunch break. Whatever works best for you! You will find yourself writing more often if you take your journal with you. Buy a small, light-weight journal and write down your ideas on the go. Your ideas don’t have to be in paragraph form at the beginning. It is your journal and you are free to make lists or bullet points to record your thoughts.

2. Start with a prompt

If you're feeling stuck or unsure of what to write about, try starting with a prompt. This can be a word, phrase, question, or image that inspires you to write. You can find plenty of journal prompts in my free journals: the summer journal and the phrasal verb journal. If you prefer, you can write on the same prompts every day. For example, write a summary of your day, a plan for your week or even a shopping list. You can write down your wishes, changes you would like to make or what you are grateful for.

3. Focus on writing about things you know

When you're first starting out, it can be helpful to focus on writing about things you already know a lot about. This could include your daily routine, your thoughts and feelings, or your observations about the world around you. It could also be a field you know about, like your studies or your profession. You could even write detailed descriptions about the people you know.

4. Use a dictionary or thesaurus

One of the best ways to expand your vocabulary is to use a dictionary. If you come across a word you don't know, take the time to look it up and write the definition in your journal. If you need guidance on how to use a thesaurus or collocation dictionary, you can watch my YouTube video on the topic. Make an effort to review and reuse these new words. Remember: we only feel comfortable using new words when we have used them in a sentence several times.

5. Keep it simple

When writing in your journal, try to keep your sentences simple and avoid using overly complex vocabulary or grammar. The main goal is to practice writing, not to show off your knowledge of English. You are writing for yourself and the point is for your sentences to become more fluent and natural. Clear and simple sentences are the best!

6. Reflect on your writing

After you've finished writing, take a few minutes to reflect on your writing. What did you learn about your writing process? What can you do better next time? Set yourself goals to write longer passages or to use new vocabulary with each journal entry. Go back to older writings and notice how you have improved. Correct your own writing from the past.

7. Share with others

If you feel comfortable, share your writing with others. This could be a friend, family member, or teacher. They may be able to provide valuable feedback and help you improve your writing skills. There are even online groups dedicated to journaling enthusiasts you could join for inspiration and moral support.

Journaling is a great way to practice writing (and thinking!) in English. By setting aside regular time to journal every day, you can build your confidence and improve your writing skills over time.. Happy journaling!

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