What to Consider When Writing in a Second Language (English)

By  //  February 23, 2020

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A major challenge when writing in a second language is that even if the grammar is correct and meaningful, it lacks the “feeling of native speakers”.

A major challenge when writing in a second language is that even if the grammar is correct and meaningful, it lacks the “feeling of native speakers”.

In this month’s special feature, we present some strategic hints based on the academic editor’s know-how that will help you write more naturally in English. Anyway, if you face some difficulties, getting help from an assignment writing service is recommended.

Organize information using topic (focus) sentences

There are many ways to organize and compose information when writing a manuscript, but writing with a structure that readers are familiar with can make the style more natural. One of them is called the “topic-sentence” structure.

In this method, you start with an overview of the idea and then narrow your focus. When writing in a language other than English, or writing to persuade something, it may be more appropriate to gradually build sentences around the subject. But natural English writing when there are goals to convey is more direct.

At the beginning of each paragraph, state the subject first (this is called “topic sentence” or “focus sentence”). This gives the reader context and shows why this paragraph needs attention. 

The text following the topic sentence details the subject and provides supporting or conflicting evidence. When writing something, whether or not English is the native language, it is common to be taught to show some “new” topic at the end of the paragraph.

However, when writing information to convey information, such as when writing a research paper, mentioning irrelevance at the end of a paragraph should be distracting and confusing to the reader and should be avoided.

It is also important that the connections between sentences are smooth when reading the entire paragraph. This can be done by connecting sentences with “and” or “but” or by incorporating logical transition words such as “therefore.”

Depending on the context, the proper use of different types of transition expressions can make the flow of text more natural. That is why you should not put diversions at the beginning of every sentence.

For example, if you start each of four consecutive sentences with “Moreover”, “Additionally”, “Furthermore”, and “Also”, you will feel awkward. However, if there are too few conversion words, the sentence will be choppy in the future, so balance is important.

Sentence patterns to use carefully

Non-native learners are often taught to use the “as for X” expression pattern when changing topics. However, this pattern feels very abrupt and can become daunting if used repeatedly and continuously.

For example, using this pattern, “As for large cities, disease incidence was high, and for smaller towns, it was moderate” It is better to state the facts briefly and use simple connectives, such as “Disease incidence was high in large cities and moderate in smaller towns”. It is easy to be.

Not only A, but also B

The phrase “not only…, but also…” is often used when a non-native author presents two items. The nuance of this pattern is that “A was naturally expected, but B was not,” resulting in a strong difference between A and B. Such implications may not apply in all situations.

We hope this information can be useful for you. Thank you for reading and good luck in writing your English paper.