Good Writing – A Skill You Can Learn
Your verbal ability is among the most important skills you possess. Throughout your life, in all kinds of situations from the classroom to the boardroom, people form their opinions of you on the basis of how you speak and how you write. Understanding how to use words effectively can bring you increased confidence and pave your way to success in school, in business, in your social life – in every area where communication is important.
The ability to communicate clearly in writing is one of the most important skills you will ever master. It will help you to get your ideas across effectively and to get the results you want in your business and personal life. There is no mystery to good writing – it is a skill you can learn.
We know very well, from experience, that much that is handwritten and more that is typed is only skimmed and sometimes not read at all. Everyday too much reading matter comes into our hands. And our own correspondence, whatever its form and shape and size, must compete with the letters and correspondence of everyone else who is doing exactly what we are doing: writing.
Keep It Brief
“That writer does the most, who gives the reader the most information, and takes from him the least time,” Charles C. Colton.
This is an observation which everyone who writes should commit to heart. The purpose of writing is to communicate: a thought, an idea, a sentiment, a fact. The more concrete and concise these elements in a communication, the more precise, the more rewarding they are to the reader. The manner in which you communicate information is enormously important. It must come to us in palatable form to command our attention, and to hold it.
Make It Clear and Complete
On the other hand, nothing can be more irritating and sometimes frustrating than the omission of essential detail. Suppose, for example, the shirts you manufacture come in several styles, colors, and sizes, but the order you have received in the mail gives no specifications. Or someone writes down a telephone message from your out-of-town friends, telling you they’re going to be in the city and will drop in to see you; but the message contains no date, no time, and nothing to indicate whether they are coming alone or with their children.
Unquestionably there is virtue in being brief, but as these examples show, you must never assume that your reader is as expert or as knowledgeable as you are about whatever you are writing.
Clarity, precision, and conciseness – each is of utmost importance to effective writing.
Keep Your Language Lively
As you write, concentrate of keeping your language active, spare and precise. Habitual use of the passive voice, unnecessary words and vague generalities makes your prose flabby. Below are examples of weak and better writing for better understanding.
Weak: The demand for the prisoners’ release was not accepted by the chief executive.
Better: The president refused to free the prisoners.
Weak: It was decided by the group that the matter would be considered at the next meeting.
Better: The school board decided to consider nominations next week.
The more you speak, the more freely you speak. The more you write, the more fluent your writing will become.
Tags: effective communication, effective writing skills, good writing examples, improve writing skill, purpose for writing, purpose in writing, purpose of writing, skill in writing, skill of writing, skills, the writing skill, writing skills, writing tips
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