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Improving writing skills rapidly


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For reasons that don't bear exploring at this juncture, I need to get better at writing essays in Chinese by hand in a hurry. (For reference, I recently passed TOCFL 5 writing, but not by very much, which was somewhat disturbing in that I felt very confident when I finished the test.) I need practice with both the handwriting part and the composition part, as my Chinese learning up to now has been very input-focused.

 

At present my plan is to break this task up into the following three exercises:

 

1. For pure speed character-writing practice: converting text into pinyin, then writing it out in characters.

2. For pure composition practice: writing (typing) essays, but possibly with software that only shows one line at a time, so I can't jump around.

3. Combining the above two and just...writing essays by hand, obviously.

 

Anyone have any other clever suggestions? Books I should look at to learn about structure or commonly used phrases? Lists of possible essay prompts? Success stories for encouragement?

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Curious.  Is the difficulty in actually writing the characters (writing them wrong) or in character selection?  Meaning picking 罗 vs 逻 in logic 逻辑? 

 

Or in sentence composition, meaning picking out words & phrases to form a sentence?

 

I've never taken those tests before, but I foresee I'll have to level up my writing at some point as well.

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