I have always harped on about the benefits of reading, and this has come in handy this week for my Start Writing Fiction Course with FutureLearn.
If you have not heard of them, FutureLearn is a MOOC (massive open online course), run by the Open University – see https://www.futurelearn.com/about.
Now as part of this course, we are encouraged to read all kinds of reading material which help with:
- Understanding structures of written material
- Introduction to various writing techniques
- Generating ideas
- Improving vocabulary
For the purposes of those reading this, if we take the last item on the list- improving vocabulary, we do this naturally when we are presented with new words on a daily basis. Any new words that I find are noted down in a notebook and kept along with their meanings. After all, you never know when a word may come in handy!
Reading encourages the flow of information and it increases your vocabulary. As far as I am concerned it is a win-win situation. I would suggest reading quality newspapers, however, if this is not possible, reading other newspapers and magazines can also help. I think that papers like The Guardian, offer a broad range of subject matter in an impartial way and have a good range of vocabulary.
There are all sorts of reading material at local libraries; Brochures, magazines, newspapers, quick reads and of course hundreds and hundreds of paperback and hardback books.
If you want access to other kinds of reading material, see London Town which gives you names of some good libraries.
Also, try www.bl.uk, which is the website for the British Library.
I recommend English Grammar For Dummies. I have a copy and suggest that you buy one for your bookshelf along with a good dictionary and thesaurus.
If you are anything like me, the English Grammar For Dummies book will be on your desk more than it is on that shelf! I have different coloured sticky notes in various chapters for quick and easy reference.
If you cannot access information in book form, there are many resources on the internet, whether they are free courses, e-books, or online dictionaries, thesauruses, or websites offering help with grammar.
Each week I will try to mention any new finds that I feel will help you on your journey through the minefield that is English Grammar!
Thanks for reading.