The final touch to an amazing piece of writing

To Teacher Tips from Kenny Pieper (East Kilbride).

So, well done. You’ve written your piece. You’re really proud of it, you think. You may have spent time on it, read the advice of other, more experienced writers. You’re ready.

Or are you?

Well, just about, but there is one more thing you should do. Before you send it off, before you wave it goodbye, before you press ‘Enter’ to deliver it on its way, just one more thing. Just one. Read it out loud. Slowly. Not just out loud ‘in your head’. Out loud. Even better, record yourself reading it out loud on your phone. On that little app you’ve hidden away in another folder or on another screen. And listen back, carefully. Then send it.

Oh, I know what you’re thinking. You hate the sound of your own voice. It doesn’t sound quite like you does it? You feel embarrassed, uncomfortable. You want to delete it immediately. Well, I have news for you. That’s normal. We all feel like that. It’s just that, as writing is a form of communication, it just might be the best way to spot any minor errors. It might allow you to hear that a sentence doesn’t sound right, or you’ve missed a word out here or there. You’ll get over it, very quickly.

Or, if you can’t, get someone else to read it. People love reading out loud, especially the work of others. They’ll be queuing up to do it. And you’ll hear your own words through someone else. Ask them if you can record them so you can hear it back later. Again and again until you’re happy. Then press send.

Writing is communication. You’ve chosen to put your words on paper, to share with the world. But people will hear your words. They will make a judgment on whether your words ‘sound’ right, even if they are just reading your work to themselves. So spend another ten minutes reading out loud. It’s not a lot of time and it might make a huge difference.

Good luck

Kenny Pieper

English Teacher

Duncanrig Secondary School

East Kilbride.


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