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What Are the Best Tips to Improve Spelling?

Amanda R. Bell
Amanda R. Bell

Oftentimes, spelling comes easier to some than others, no matter how intelligent or well-educated a person is. For those who have difficulty with this subject, there are several tips to improve spelling. One of the easiest is to create a running list of words that you find difficult and keep the list on you for reference. Taking time out every day to read is one of the most natural ways to improve spelling, and can be enjoyable if you find a subject in which you are interested. For some, making up interesting or odd expressions to help them remember how to spell a particularly difficult word can be helpful short-term; however, learning the basics of spelling is one of the best ways to achieve long-term improvement.

For many people, the spelling of certain words is simply difficult to recall. One of the best tips to improve spelling is to make a list of all of the words that you routinely have a hard time spelling correctly and keeping that list on you at all times. When you have to type or write out the word, you can refer to your list to make sure that you have spelled it correctly. This not only helps you in the short-term, but also the long-term. Looking at the word and writing or typing it correctly on a regular basis will make it easier for you to remember the proper spelling in the future, to the point where you no longer have to look the word up.

Reading books can help improve spelling.
Reading books can help improve spelling.

Another good tip to improve spelling is to immerse yourself in the written word by setting aside a specific amount of time each day to read. In most cases, what you read doesn’t really matter — anything from newspapers to novels to textbooks will do. As long as the text is at the proper level for you, reading every day can help you to remember how to spell certain words naturally, as well as expand your vocabulary. It can also be an enjoyable and informative experience, provided that you find articles or books in subjects that interest you.

In some cases, especially when it comes to longer or trickier words, making up a saying to help you remember how to spell something can be a good way to improve. Oftentimes, people find that using a mnemonic device is helpful, which is making up a phrase using each letter of the difficult word as the starting letter for each word in the sentence. In some cases, making up or learning phrases that pertain to basic spelling rules can also be helpful, such as this phrase: ”i” before “e,” except after “c”.

As with most things in life, sometimes the best tip for improving spelling is to relearn how to spell from the beginning. You can try looking up writing labs on university or college websites or attend a basic writing class at a local college. Although these may not focus entirely on spelling, it may be able to teach you basic language rules. There are also several at-home programs you can use to improve spelling, as well as tutors that can reteach you the basics. Once you understand the fundamentals, remembering how to spell specific words is often much easier.

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Discussion Comments


I help my wife grade a lot of student papers, and I can say that spelling skills have really gone downhill in recent years. I think people rely way too much on their spell check programs and not enough on their instincts. There are a lot of words that will pass the spell check test but still be misspelled in context.

If I need to go back and proofread my own work for spelling errors, I'll turn off the spell checker and try to do it without any help. I'll turn it back on during the second reading. This way I don't lose my natural spelling instincts by relying on outside help.


For me, if it looks wrong it probably is wrong. Sometimes I look at a word like "weird" and wonder if it should be spelled "wierd", for example. "Wierd" just looks wrong to me, as if it should be pronounced like "wired". If you want to improve your spelling, I say go with your gut when in doubt. A truly misspelled word should feel wrong, even if you're not sure of the right spelling.

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    • Reading books can help improve spelling.
      By: trotzolga
      Reading books can help improve spelling.