Whether its in the work you turn in for class or the resume you submit for employers, those pesky misspellings can help change how others see you– fair or not. With today’s fancy spellcheckers, it’s easier to fix these spelling gaffes, but knowing how to prevent making them in the first place is a skill many a poor speller would love to have. While you may never be able to go from being a terrible speller to a spelling-bee champ, you can improve your spelling little by little with some hard work and study.
One of the easiest and perhaps most entertaining ways to work on your spelling is to simply spend more time reading. It doesn’t matter what you read– books, magazines, web pages– they’re all full of words, many of which you might not be comfortable with spelling. The more you see these words, the more familiar you’ll become with them. You’ll gain an intuition for what the right spelling actually is and slowly but surely improve your ability to spell them on your own.
Another way to help yourself become a better speller is to practice through writing. The more you write a word, the more you’ll get to see it. Better yet, anytime you struggle with a word, write it down on a piece of paper. Each time you have to look it up, make a note. This repetition, especially in practice where you’ll actually be using your spelling skills, is essential to learning to become a good speller.
If you just can’t seem to get down the spelling of certain words, and let’s be honest, some are pretty tricky, come up with devices to help you remember the spelling. There are a wide variety of spelling mnemonics already out there, but if those don’t work for you you can always make up your own. After all, you want something that will stick in your brain and help you remember the spelling, not that confuses you just as much as spelling in the first place. For instance, you can remember the spelling of the word “piece” with the mnemonic “a piece of pie.”
Even if you weren’t born with the gift of the natural ability to spell words correctly, you can learn to improve your spelling and thwart your brain’s attempts to lead you astray with spelling. The key: practice, practice, practice. With this, you’ll soon be on your way to being a better speller and a more confident writer.