About This Chapter
Building Writing Skills - Chapter Summary
From understanding the basics of standard American English to developing writing styles, this chapter can teach you everything you need to know to become a better writer. Upon finishing the lessons, you could be able to:
- Understand standard American English language conventions
- Become familiar with English spelling rules
- Explain homonyms and homophones
- Define and write topic sentences confidently
- Avoid common writing pitfalls
- Use good diction to create tone, point-of-view, and style
- Describe how to set the tone through language and word choice
- Develop a concrete understanding of synonyms
- Have the chance to practice essay writing
Our lessons can be accessed on any device 24/7, so it is easy to fit in your schedule. Each lesson includes a quiz designed to let you assess your understanding of the material, and the result will help identify the areas you may need to review. Our lessons are conducted by professional instructors, who can answer any questions you may have.
1. Standard American English: Usage & Language Conventions
If you are learning English, it is useful to know what kind of English to focus on. After all, we speak differently than people in the United Kingdom. This lesson focuses on Standard American English, the most popular English in the U.S.
2. Overview of Standard English Spelling Rules
Spelling is an essential skill for students. This lesson will provide an overview of standard English spelling rules. We will end with a brief quiz to see what you have learned.
3. Spelling: Words That Sound Alike (Homonyms & Homophones)
Watch this lesson to learn to differentiate between words that sound alike but may be spelled differently. We'll specifically look at homonyms, homographs, and homophones.
4. What is a Topic Sentence? - Examples & Definition
In this lesson, you'll learn what a topic sentence is and how topic sentences can make your writing clearer and more interesting. Take a look at some examples and then test your knowledge with a quiz.
5. Common Writing Pitfalls and How to Avoid Them
In addition to all the other things you do while writing an academic essay, you'll need to think about how to avoid common pitfalls. This lesson discusses how to steer clear of some common problems.
6. How to Write With Good Diction to Develop Style, Tone & Point-of-View
Developing a good writing style starts with developing good diction. You can't craft an essay or story the way you want without being able to choose the right words first. Here's how.
7. How Word Choice and Language Sets the Tone of Your Essay
In this video, we will discuss how word choice sets the tone for your essay. This includes letting the reader know if you are angry, happy or even attempting to refrain from bias. These tools bring your 'voice' into your writing.
8. What is a Synonym? - Definition & Examples
In this lesson, we look at the definition of a synonym and review why they are important in writing and building vocabulary. We also look at some examples and note where you can apply them in your own writing.
9. Practicing Essay Writing to Get Better at Writing
It can be tough to practice your essay-writing skills on your own without a teacher's feedback. With some time and practice (and by using this game plan), you'll be on your way to practicing, evaluating and improving your writing.
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Other chapters within the TOEFL iBT: Test Prep and Practice course
- TOEFL: About the Test
- TOEFL Reading: The Basics
- TOEFL Reading: Advanced Reading Help
- Skills for Reading Comprehension & Analysis
- TOEFL Listening
- Developing Listening Skills
- TOEFL Speaking
- TOEFL Writing: Grammar and Usage
- Introduction to Writing Sentences
- TOEFL Writing: Essay Writing Help
- TOEFL Writing: About the Test
- TOEFL Vocabulary: Words & Practice
- TOEFL iBT Flashcards