Good Writing 101

download Good Writing 101

of 12

Embed Size (px)

Transcript of Good Writing 101

  • 8/10/2019 Good Writing 101



    It Must Be Clear

    An introduction to good writing practice

  • 8/10/2019 Good Writing 101




  • 8/10/2019 Good Writing 101




  • 8/10/2019 Good Writing 101


    The Bigger Question Is What Is GoodWriting?


    Good writing is a combination of many factors, which seem overwhelming at times. You willlearn about these factors in this PowerPoint. Some areas are simple to avoid and othersrequire more thought, yet and still, if you follow them, youre writing will improve.

    In its simplest form,Good writing is

    clear : easy to understand precise : says exactly what is meantconcise : to the point

  • 8/10/2019 Good Writing 101



    Unity is always a priority--anything that does not fit do not fall in love with it. Every word shouldfit and belong with the purpose of the essay. If something doesnt move you emotionally, dontwrite it.

    Adam Singer puts it like this inThe Most Important Tip For Great Writing : Good writing is a

    flow experience not forced. Its clear, concise and deliberate. Its playful or impactful. Itsemotive and thought provoking. To the reader, it should be an effortless experience they losethemselves in.

    If something does not support your thesis, dont use it.


  • 8/10/2019 Good Writing 101


    Work / Think Harder!

    Work/Think harder: writing is different from speaking. It requires deliberation, it is moreformal, and it has standards. Sotake your time to invest yourself fully and revise as muchas necessary. Read aloud you essay sentence by sentence. The more you organize yourthoughts, the clearer you think and write. This will make you more confident also.

    Sometimes. What slows us down is that we are all afraid of the permanence of writing. We are afraid ofmaking mistakes, of saying something that we didn't really mean, of appearing foolish. Wecan gain some control over this fear if we realize that we have some control over howpermanent and how public our writing really is.


  • 8/10/2019 Good Writing 101


    Be Precise and Concise: Six rules (Orwell)

    Never use a metaphor, simile or other figure of speech(informally)

    Never use a long word where a short one will do

    If it is possible to cut out a word, always cut it out

    Never use the passive where you can use the active

    Never use a foreign phrase, a scientific word or a jargon word if you canthink of an everyday English equivalent

    George Orwell "Politics and the English Language", 1946

  • 8/10/2019 Good Writing 101


    Example: writing that is imprecise8

    I cannot go to the meetingowing to the fact that I feel ill. I cannot go to the meetingbecause I feel ill. In spite of the fact that I feel ill, I will go to the meeting. Although I feel ill, I will go to the meeting. I was unaware of the fact that you were leaving. I was unaware you were leaving. The fact that he had not succeeded puzzled me.

    His failure puzzled me.

  • 8/10/2019 Good Writing 101


    Specific and Memorable Word Choice So many words, so little time. If youre writing in English, you get a bonus that cant be

    found in most other languages: an extra 300,000 words or so. At just over 490,000 words (and stillgrowing strong), the English language is the largest in the world. So, when it comes to deciding which word to use where, youve got plenty of choices.

    Strong verbs that tell how an actions are performed. Verbs are words that describe theaction in a sentence. Some verbs are said to be stronger than others, and these are the ones thattend to make your writing more effective. Heres how it works: take a verb like run and another

    verb with a similar meaning like sprint. Now, compare these two sentences: (1) I was running.; (2) I was sprinting. They seem more or less the same, but theyre not. In the first sentence, you learn that I was running but in the second sentence you also learn how I was running.

    Adjectives and adverbs that make things more specific. Say Im in one of those huge underground parking lots. You know, the ones with all the floors that look exactly the same. Say Icome back from several hours of shopping and I cant remember where I parked. After searching franticly for an hour or so, Ill probably give up and try to find a parking attendant to help me. The first question hes going to ask me is, What kind of car do you have? And Ill say Oh, you know, its just a car. And then hell look at me like Im an even bigger idiot than I already am. Why? Because Im not being specific enough for him to help me. Writing is like that, too. You have to be specific in order to help your readers understand you. If you write, The man drove away in his car, thats not nearly as helpful to your readers as, The anxious, young man drove away nervously in the shiny new car his parents had just bought for him. Whats the difference? Adjectives and adverbs.


  • 8/10/2019 Good Writing 101


    Follow and Focus the Prompt

    Focus on the task---dont go elsewhere. Read the guidelinescarefully. Many times a writer will deviate from the guidelinesand purpose of the essay, distorting the unity and coherency ofthe essay.

    Follow the task---you cant just write whatever you want.

    Ex of Prompts

    University of Wales, Aberystwyth


  • 8/10/2019 Good Writing 101


  • 8/10/2019 Good Writing 101