What Are the Elements That Make for Good and Effective Writing?
Writing is a form of communication that permeates through almost every aspect of our personal, educational and professional lives. Although some parts of good writing are open to interpretation, effective writing always leads to compelling content, so writers need to polish up on their skills if they are to captivate their readers.
An effective writer organizes his ideas in a manner that flows logically from the beginning to the end of the article, essay or report. The topic communicates the main point or argument the writer wants to explore while each subsequent section, such as the introduction, body, conclusion and recommendations, expound on the idea. A written work can contain several subtopics or subheadings depending on the scope of the writer’s ideas. Writers enhance the quality of their work through examples, case studies and other supporting evidence that help the reader understand the ideas. Furthermore, effective writers use appropriate paragraphs to help organize their work. Ideally, each paragraph contains a topic sentence, supporting sentences and a conclusion.
An effective writer communicates his points using clear and concise language without being verbose, vague or long winded. Writers can achieve this objective through constant editing of their work to cut out complex vocabulary, jargon and unnecessary words or repetitive phrases, such as "terrible tragedy" or "red in color" that do not add any value to the sentence. Writers can also go through their work to remove convoluted sentences that detract from the main point and make it difficult for readers to follow. A writer should present his work to a sample audience before submitting it to confirm that he has written in the clearest way possible.
Style is crucial to writing effectively since it determines whether readers keep interested in the work or get bored or confused. Readability and elegance are two key elements in an effective writing style, so a writer needs to use appropriate voice, word choice and sentence order to move the reader along easily between words, sentences and paragraphs. An effective writer uses active voice to make strong, clear points and avoids passive voice because it introduces ambiguity. Good writing also incorporates appropriate words and properly constructed sentences that convey the writer’s meaning.
The hallmark of good and effective writing is work that is free from common spelling, grammatical or typographical errors. Effective writers edit and proofread their work to ensure there are no spelling mistakes or typographical errors that change the meaning of a word or phrase. They also guard against grammatical errors as they lower the quality of a written work. The use of slang or colloquial expressions may indicate a lack of proper command of the language, so writers need to eliminate all such words in the text of their written work.
Maria OCadiz has been writing professionally since 1982, most recently publishing for various websites on topics like health and wellness, and education. She holds a Master of Arts in Education. She is a former university professor, curriculum facilitator and teacher.