Writing well is a challenging feat, which is why so few people can do it. It’s a talent that some are born with, but most aren’t. Those who can usually have to work at it—and practice makes perfect.
What separates good writing from bad?
There is no one answer to the question of what makes good writing. Different people have different opinions on the matter. However, there are some elements that are generally considered to be essential for good writing.
These include clarity, conciseness, accuracy, and organization. Good writers strive to make their meaning clear to their readers. They choose their words carefully and avoid using unnecessarily complicated language.
They also take care to ensure that their facts are accurate and that their ideas are well-organized so that readers can follow them easily. Most people agree that all of these elements are important to good writing. However, they may disagree on which one is the most important.
Those who agree with the idea that the most essential element is clarity may say that conciseness and accuracy are secondary. While those who believe that brevity is the most important may rank accuracy and organization as secondary. Often, what makes writing good is subjective.
Characteristics of a well-written piece
Have you ever wondered what separates a poorly written-article from a well-written one? Most people can tell the difference, even if they don’t know exactly why. Here are some characteristics of well-written pieces:
They have clear purpose and structure – Every piece of writing should have a purpose, whether it is to inform, entertain or persuade. A well-written article will have a beginning, middle, and end that are all clearly linked. They use concise language – Good writing uses simple words and short sentences.
Long, convoluted sentences can be difficult to read. They use the active voice – Writing in the active voice leaves little room for confusion because it clearly states who is doing what.
Writing in the passive voice can sometimes be confusing. They don’t ramble or include unnecessary details. It’s easy to fall into the trap of having too many details, making a piece longer and more complicated than necessary. Well-written articles get to the point quickly.
They are well-organized – Well-written pieces have a beginning, middle, and end that are clearly linked and that make sense. A viewer can tell the difference between a piece with a clear organization and one without. They use the right word –
A well-written piece uses words that are clear, precise, and accurate. Using too many words leads to confusion while using too few words can leave the reader lost. They are easy to understand – Well-written pieces are easy to understand.
Anatomy of good writing
The building blocks of great compositions, we all know what it feels like to read something that just flows effortlessly and makes total sense. On the flip side, we’ve also experienced the pain of slogging through paragraphs that seem disjointed and confusing. So, what separates good writing from bad? In a word: structure.
Good writers logically build their pieces, using thoughtful transitions to move their readers smoothly from one point to the next. By contrast, poor writers tend to produce choppy texts. That feels jarring and unfinished. No prerequisites.
By the end of this lesson, you’ll be able to identify what makes for solid structure in writing, as well as apply that knowledge to your own compositions. No prerequisites.
Writing for the Real World: The Business of Writing
Writing is a necessary skill for nearly every current job.
That’s why it’s so important to learn how to write a business letter, an email, or even a text message that will land you the job, raise, or customer you’re after. In this lesson, we’ll practice identifying what makes for good structure in writing and put those skills to work in improving our own compositions.
We’ll look at literary texts as examples of well-structured writing and examine the elements that make them successful. As we go along, we’ll apply those same principles to our own writing, helping us achieve more cohesive, powerful prose.
Read widely. The best way to learn how to write is to read the work of other writers. Pay attention to what you like and don’t like about their writing. And try to emulate the things you want in your own work.
Write every day. The more you write, the better you will become at it. Even if you only have a few minutes, try writing something daily.
Get feedback. Ask friends, family, or other writers to read your work and give you feedback. This can help identify areas where you need to improve.
Don’t be afraid to experiment. Try different writing styles and genres until you find what you’re comfortable with. And don’t be scared to break the rules sometimes.
Have fun! Writing should be enjoyable, so don’t take it too seriously. If you’re not having fun, you’re less likely to stick with it.
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