I've been putting much effort into studying Chinese recently, and its been improving rapidly. However, while I am nowadays far more capable of reading Chinese and writing hanzi, I struggle to construct sentences "on the fly" (both in conversation, and in writing).

I feel like it's time to refocus, and practice writing my own sentences.

Question: How can I use Chinese.SE to practice constructing sentences?

This site is amazingly helpful (so a big thank you to everyone!). But I'm not sure if it's suitable for questions of the form I wrote this; is it total rubbish? Such questions may be super-duper boring, and tedious to proofread and correct. But maybe I shouldn't be too concerned, and just fire away.

One idea I'm thinking about is:

  1. Post a random picture.
  2. Succinctly describe the picture in Chinese (maybe a paragraph in length).
  3. Ask for a critique of what I write.

Maybe the community has other ideas.

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Well, you're right that asking to proofread your sentences wouldn't make for very interesting questions.

But you can:

  • go to chat and talk to someone in Chinese and practice.
  • ask questions about things in particular you find difficult, such as "I'm not sure about how to say I'd rather do X than Y, can I use the following structure? See example"

That would be a valid question. Sure there's some proofreading involved, but you're not asking to just review a text you wrote, you're asking about how to express some particular point and it could be useful for visitors.

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I totally forgot I posted this, so here's a response to my past self...

Hi past Becky,

In over a year from now, you ask this How should I go about writing "review my writing" requests? totally forgetting you already asked this question.

You create a tag, and put snippets of your writing in there, highlighting some perceived weaknesses, and trying your best to eliminate any problems. If others don't want to see the slopping writing of learner, they can simply ignore the tag. It took a bit of time to get used to, but it seems to work okay. People even seem to like the different level of writing.

At some point, your writing concerns change from "fix this grammar" and "what's the word for [blah]", to writing flow, maintaining tension in a story, etc. Improving is no longer as simple as "how do I fix this?"

Also, you probably won't believe this in 2018, but in the future you write articles and short stories. Today you wrote a paragraph in Chinese about the causes of inaction on climate change. Keep going, you're doing great!

Many thanks,

-- Future Becky.

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