It might sound strange, but reading newspaper and magazine articles is often better practise for your writing than reading novels. Although novels help to instill creativity, the opinion columns of good newspapers expose you to a very varied range of styles. Newspaper columnists and journalists are often constrained for space, and their articles must always be very concise and effective -- a highly desirable skill.

When sitting for exams or writing essays, many of the titles presented deal with current affairs. Newspapers will expose the world's affairs to you, and you will be confident with newly acquired knowledge when tackling these essays.

One of the most important aspects of writing is the use of anecdotes. When you've got knowledge, flaunt it. Do this by mentioning an opinion of a columnist you have read, for example, as a little sidenote in an essay. This keeps your writing interesting -- and your reader glued to the page.

The [url=" "]New York Times website[/url] is good source of free and very well-written articles.

Here are some others:
[url=" "]Nico Colchester[/url] (Fellowship for Young Journalists)
[url=" "]Telegraph Opinion[/url]
[url=" /"]Observer International[/url]
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Just to add to Matthewg's comments, you might want to use an RSS aggregator and keep on top of the news. I do this.

Here are some popular RSS aggregators:

Feed Demon
My Yahoo! - Free, web-based RSS reader.
NewsGator - Runs in Microsoft Outlook.

You may also visit your favorite search engine and look up "RSS reader aggregator."

I use FeedDemon. The NY Times, Yahoo!, Reuters, Wall Street Journal, Washington Post among others all serve their news in RSS feeds. It is a very handy way of keeping on top of your news and information.

I really like FeedDemon. You can go its site and you can also go the Support Forums to learn more. Nick Bradbury is the author or creator of FeedDemon.

I hope this message is of benefit.

I wholeheartedly agree Matthew.
Another benefit of newspapers and current affairs publications is that the language used is right up to date (current). It's amazing how many texbooks on bookstore shelves teach antiquated (old fashioned) expressions and styles.
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Yes, newspapers do help your writing skills, almost anything that you read with correct grammar will help your writing skills.
I agree. The concept of reading in regards to improving one's own writing, is a well known thesis. You can, of course, take it a step further, which is the analytical breakdown of the sentence/column/essay. It is here that the reader dissects each grape like word, and when doing so asks simple questions, such as: 'Why Here? Why the image? Why does it sound so sweet?'

Thanks a lot for the advice Matthewg
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Well, that can be true for English... Try to learn Italian by reading a newspaper...
YoHfWell, that can be true for English... Try to learn Italian by reading a newspaper...
Emotion: big smile Is it that hard ?
YoHfWell, that can be true for English... Try to learn Italian by reading a newspaper...
Emotion: big smile Is it that hard ?

I guess what YoHf meant is, you can't just rely on reading(whatever reading material it is) to "learn" any language. But I think the topic is about "Improving the writing skills" which means you already have some knowledge of the language.

By the way YoHf you seem very certain of what you say...can you tell us why before everybody loses hope of learning Italian one day?. Your words are quite daunting believe me.
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