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What Is Effective Writing? A Definition - Darius Foroux

Effective writing

Effective writing is not about grammar, punctuation, and spelling. It is about hitting your mark.

  • Effective writing is clear and has only one interpretation.
  • Effective writing is credible. Your reader will only believe you if you know what you're talking about. They will immediately sense if you ramble or are dishonest.
  • Effective writing is persuasive. It sparks a reaction within your reader and inspires them.

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What Is Effective Writing? A Definition - Darius Foroux

What Is Effective Writing? A Definition - Darius Foroux

https://dariusforoux.com/what-is-effective-writing/

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Key Ideas

Effective writing

Effective writing is not about grammar, punctuation, and spelling. It is about hitting your mark.

  • Effective writing is clear and has only one interpretation.
  • Effective writing is credible. Your reader will only believe you if you know what you're talking about. They will immediately sense if you ramble or are dishonest.
  • Effective writing is persuasive. It sparks a reaction within your reader and inspires them.

Writing as a tool

Writing is a way of communicating. When you use clear, credible and persuasive language, you don't have to worry about a beautiful sentence or fancy words.

  • If you are not clear from the start, you will end up wasting a lot of time clarifying your message. Aim to get it right from the start.
  • You can write the wrong thing that will land you up in an argument. If you didn't mean it that way, don't write it that way. Write what you mean.
  • Ineffective writing can cause lost opportunities.

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"Why should you examine your writing style with the idea of improving it? Do so as a mark of respect for your readers, whatever you’re writing.

The “5 Ws + H” method

... for establishing what and how you will write:

  • Who: Who is my audience?
  • What: What do they need to know?
  • When: When does this apply, when did this happen, or when do they need to know it by?
  • Where: Where is this happening?
  • Why: Why do they need this information?
  • How: How should they use this information?

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“Be A Strong Writer”
“Be A Strong Writer”

This is one of the first pieces of advice people give to those seeking remote work.

When you work remotely, a few misplaced words can become an occupational hazard. Every w...

Accessible Language
  • Use of caps lock, emojis, italics and tildes (~) to make your language flowery, fun and human is a great idea for remote working. You can also use memes and gif images, provided they are not offensive to anyone.
  • Robot speak is not a good way to freely collaborate with your remote peers. Use simple words, and keep it on the casual side, skipping the inaccessible and stilted language. You can also opt for contractions like writing isn’t instead of is not.
Be Clear And Concise
  • Do not obscure your message by words that are there to decorate the sentence and make it sound wordy while camouflaging what you mean.
  • Make good use of qualifiers ("I think, In my opinion") while not coming across as a perpetually confused person. Don’t use qualifiers while making a strong point.
  • While writing documentation, it is prudent to avoid jargon and acronyms.
  • Use complete words and sentences. Shortcuts and acronyms block any actual communication, acting as roadblocks. On the same lines, avoid cliches, idioms and any idiotic sounding phrase that catches the ear well but doesn’t really do any good to anyone.
  • Remote working is often on a global scale, and certain expressions will not be understood by some participants, or worse, will be misunderstood.
  • Your words and tone should be tailored according to your audience. The words are different when you are writing to a client, and when you are in a small group chat with your peers. More people in chat also means adopting a polished, professional tone.

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Benefits of a daily writing habit
Benefits of a daily writing habit
  • Better self-discipline
  • Improving persuasion skills
  • Cultivating self-awareness
  • Better decision ma...
Writing as self-discipline

The reason why we don’t do anything useful with our time is that we lack self-discipline.

But when you write every day, you strengthen your discipline. And you can transfer that better self-discipline to achieve anything in life.

Writing cultivates self-awareness

Nothing will help you to get to know yourself more than translating your thoughts into words.

When you force yourself to write every day, you automatically become more aware of your thoughts. And self-awareness is one of the most important skills that predict career success.

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Revising a paper
Revision starts once you have a finished first draft of your paper. As you reread what you have written, you might notice a few places wher...
Tips for Revision
  • Give yourself time between writing the first draft and looking at it again for revision. A few hours can give you enough time to see it with fresh eyes that are more likely to spot trouble areas.
  • Read your paper out loud. Sometimes speaking the words helps you get a better feel for the flow of a paper.
  • Do not worry about the editing yet. Get the big ideas down and leave the details for later.
  • Make sure your paper is organized in a logical way. Make your thesis statement and follow it up with arguments, quotes, and evidence in a way that makes your purpose clear.
Editing a paper
It happens once you have a draft you are confident in as a whole. In this process, you are going to look for the details that may have slipped by you during the writing process. Spelling errors are often caught by spellcheck but do not trust this tool to catch everything. Word usage is also a common problem to catch in editing. Is there a word you use repetitively? Or did you write there when you meant their? Details like this seem small on an individual basis, but as they pile up they can distract your reader. 

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Expressive writing

Is writing for the purpose of putting your own thoughts and feelings into words and it can be a powerful way to enhance overall wellbeing. 

It focuses on expressing and describing...

Expressive writing activities
  • Try Journaling: Putting words to our emotions often helps us understand them in a new way, and process them more effectively.
  • Schedule writing into your routine: e.g. Morning pages.
  • Find inspiration in music: Put on a random playlist and transcribe the images, memories and emotions that the music evokes for you.
  • Practice letter writing: Unspoken thoughts or feelings can feel like a heavy burden to carry. Consider putting these sentiments into a letter.
  • Expressing gratitude: Writing about people or experiences that we feel grateful for can help us maintain focus on the aspects of life that are hopeful and meaningful.
Writing and thinking
Good writing correlates with crisp thinking.

Writing provides excellent insight into the way someone’s mind works. Good writers have well-structured thoughts and an orderly outlook. And...

Writing and success

Clear communication builds confidence and creates more productive relationships.

Other skills matter a great deal, of course, but you’ll go further if you can express yourself well in writing. Whether you’re communicating with partners, customers, or coworkers, the way you write influences how people view both you and your company. 

Becoming a good writer
  • Read a lot. It expands your vocabulary, solidifies your grammar, enables you to draw inspiration
  • Review everything you write.
  • Use as few words as possible to communicate your meaning.
  • If there’s a simpler word, use it.
  • Use anecdotes and examples wherever you can.
  • When it matters, have someone edit your work. 
Creating your career

Most people never make a conscious decision about their careers and end up at a certain place, due to external factors and present opportunities. Their career path wasn't carved out or planned.

...
You Decide who you become

Here are Five Steps that can create your career:

1. Analyzing yourself.

2. Identify your industry

3. Improve your basic, universal skills

4. Start from Scratch

5. Continuous Self-Development

Self-analysis

When you analyze yourself, instead of pondering over what you are not good at, find out your strengths and sharpen them, turning a good skill into excellence.

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Writing is intimidating. There’s this expectation of artful precision, mercurial grammatical rules, and the weird angst that comes with writing for other people. You start with a tidy nu...
Writing is Deliberate
Choosing the words to describe your work means you’re doing it on purpose. 

You’re going on the record as someone who thinks about why they do what they do, and understands how each decision affects the results. And developing this knack for critical thinking will also make you better at what you do.

Tips for Better Business Writing

You can be a good business writer, just by following these five tips:

1. Write as you speak.

2. Read it aloud.

3. Ditch the Jargon.

4. Ignore the English Teacher.

Write how you Speak

Writing simply, and in an alive tone, using everyday words is more forthcoming and refreshing, than using unnatural sounding words. 

Write like a human.

Read it Aloud

If you read your written text aloud, you will realize where it can be worded better, or where to add or remove a comma. You can also let someone else read it.

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Persuasion through storytelling

Stories are a very integral part of being persuasive. 

Stories trump data when it comes to persuasion because stories are easier to understand and relate to.

What makes a story engaging
  • Suspense and “cliffhangers” allow you to create an addictive narrative;
  • Creating detailed imagery;
  • Using literary techniques for turning simple stories into memorable works of art.
  • Change made easier by providing an example.
Characteristics of persuasive stories
  • Delivery: matters as much as the content.
  • Imagery:  the brain “lights up” in reacting to imagery, truly transporting the reader to the events being described. 
  • Realism: poeple need a “human” element in the story that is easy for them to imagine.
  • Structure: people prefer stories that follow a logical manner.
  • Context: significant impact on the persuasiveness of a story.
  • Audience: determine who you don’t want reading your content along with who you do.