Monday, July 21, 2008

Seven Steps to Writing Well on Any Subject

Five minutes ago you'd never heard of the Southeast Asian binturong, but now you've agreed to write an article on its lifecycle and habitat ... all by the end of the day. Here's a plan to get you from a blank sheet of paper to a well-written article.

1. Think It Through

You don't have to be an expert to write intelligently on any subject, but you do need enough knowledge to convince your reader that you know what you're talking about. Spend some time thinking and researching before you sit down to write. What's interesting, unique, important, or exciting about the subject? Why would someone want to read about it? Shift your imagination into high gear.

2. Write It Down

When you have some ideas to work with, start writing. Let your imagination run wild. Don't worry about proper sentence structure at this point -- just get your thoughts out in front of you and go with the flow. Ideas are like potato chips... if you have one, you'll probably have lots more.

3. Fill It In

Go back through what you've written and add more detail. Fill in the blanks. Connect the ideas. Build the structure. This is where you establish your style and tone. Think about who's going to read your work and choose words that make sense to the people you're writing for. Junior high students don't use the same vocabulary as research scientists.

4. Let It Rest

If the words aren't fitting together quite right, take a break. Clear your mind and let go of any angst you're feeling about your writing. When you start again, it will be easier to see what's working and what needs more work.

5. Check It Out

When you've completed a rough draft, read it through from beginning to end. Do you have a catchy title and an engaging lead? Does the body hold the reader's interest? Does it make sense? Don't rely on a spell-check program to catch your errors. Print out a copy and read it out loud. Your ears can catch the mistakes your eyes missed.

6. Clean It Up

Go back and fix any spelling, punctuation or grammar errors you found. Use a dictionary, thesaurus, and a style book to smooth the rough spots and polish your words until they shine. Edit, read, and repeat as needed.

7. Pass It Around

Ask someone else to read what you've written. You know your mother and your best friend will think it's great, so try to get feedback from somebody who doesn't already think you're perfect. Be open to suggestions and willing to make changes, but ultimately you must be certain they are your words and that they speak well for you.

Follow these steps and you'll find that good writing is both a destination and a journey you'll enjoy.

Research your ideas now!

Source :

Related Posts by Categories

Widget by Hoctro | Jack Book