This is a guest post by Liana Simmons of Ewritingservice.com. Ewritingservice provides effective communication of your message across to the reader.
5 Tips for More Effective Writing
Good writing is not necessarily effective writing but effective writing leads to good writing. While everybody has their own idea on what constitutes good writing, defining effective writing is simple: it gets the job done.
When writing, your message should be plain, simple, and well understood by others. Writing is a form of communication. Just as a person may not communicate effectively when talking, one might fail to get their thoughts across in writing, too.
1. The objective
Ask yourself what you want to achieve with your writing. The written word is more than just a means for informing the reader. To achieve the objective of your writing you need to be clear about it yourself: do you want the reader to feel something, take an action or change their opinion on a certain subject? Once you have a clear objective, outline it for your readers and gently nudge them toward it.
2. Keep it short and simple
To effectively communicate avoid being too wordy. We often assume that a detailed explanation, argument or description will be better than a cursory one, but that is not always the case. It is far more important to keep your reader engaged by keeping the content relevant throughout your writing.
Clarity is also crucial. Simplicity can help with this. You don’t want the reader to lose your point while trying to figure out what you are saying. Stick to the objective and make it easy for them to understand what you’re saying. Few well-written sentences can be far more effective at prompting the reader to take an action than multiple pages of written content.
3. Consider your audience
It is good to develop a unique communication style, but at the same time, consider the audience you are targeting. Does your audience understand your complex language? If you are writing, say, a user manual, is this aimed at people from your line of work, who will understand technical terms, or is it aimed at end users, who are likely to be baffled by technical jargon? Reduce the complexity of any sentences which can be easily misinterpreted. Also, keep in mind what devices your readers use. Book readers will have different expectations from your writing from, say, blog readers; an email has its own conventions compared to a tweet, and so on.
Whatever the means you have chosen to distribute your words, reread the content, correct all the mistakes, and rewrite where necessary before sharing with others. This is the most important step in effective writing. It guides you to come up with a well-written piece which will communicate your message in an effective way. Key things to remember while composing your final draft include:
- The action the reader will take/their feeling after reading. What do you want them to do/feel?
- Does the action/feeling meet your objective?
- Address any other questions that might arise from your writing.
- Clarify or remove anything that is likely to be misunderstood, no matter how proud you are of that particular sentence, description or scene. As they say, kill your darlings!
5. The medium used
Briefly mentioned before, this topic bears expanding. Writing is communication, but the medium you use to pass the written information could make or break your writing. Are you going to use a pdf document, word document, email or an app to send your writing?
The most important thing about knowing your audience is you get to know how to get to them. For example, if you are targeting older generations, you need to keep in mind they may prefer reading on paper. So, use larger fonts to help them if they print out your material. If you’re writing a book, also use larger fonts so they don’t have to use glasses to read. At the same time, young generations may prefer using their cellphone to read, so keep this in mind when formatting your material.
All of the above will help you write more effectively. And well executed, effective writing leads to a high-quality outcome. Who knows, you may even someday open up your own writing services company! The important thing to remember is that you don’t need any special skills to write effectively: it’s just a matter of practicing and doing it right. Consider your desired outcome, your audience, and the medium they’ll use, and you’ll do great!
Excellent tips, Nicholas. All sound advice that will help any writer make the best of their work. I love the photo of your beautiful cat, by the way – I also have two crazy cats called Beowulf and Grendel. They are an inspiration in their own rights too. Thanks for sharing.
Thanks! The cat had to undergo a surgery a couple of weeks ago. Surgery went fine, but he keeps scratching the stitches with his leg and he won’t let the wound close! Honestly, I don’t know what to do with him to stop him from doing that…
Thanks to you both for those valuable tips, Nicholas.
Best wishes, Pete.