The Simple Rules of Good Writing

The rules of good writing usually differ depending on the type of writing you are involved in, whether it’s marketing writing, essay writing, resume writing or probably book writing. But some general rules still remain the same as one factor is unbeatable – your writing is intended to be read by real people. I’ve prepared a few handy tips that you might and should use in your writing practices:

1) Short sentences, short words and simple structures

When you get down to writing, you need to know your target audience. If you don’t deal with academic writing, simplicity works the best. Don’t use 3-line sentences that are difficult to understand from the first time. If any of the complex and long words you use has a simplified alternative, you’d better choose a shorter word.

Quite often, good writing is not about good grammar at all. It’s ok to use conversational speech that does not use sophisticated grammar constructions and word-combinations. Use active speech instead of passive where relevant. Make sure your writing does not sound like writing, but rather as a friendly talk.

Text size matters too. If we talk about articles, several-thousand-word text quickly gets the readers bored. Content is like woman skirt – it has to be long enough to cover everything but short enough to be interesting.

2) Well-structured and suitable for scanning

Did you know that readers prefer scanning the text and reading only the most appealing to them parts? Divide your writing into logical subheadings and let anyone figure out the clue at the very first glance.

If the use of subheadings or bullets is irrelevant in the text, concentrate on the text structure and logical arrangement of everything you are planning to say. Prior to writing, create a plan that covers the main points and ideas and only then get down to writing. Don’t use too long paragraphs that bubble on and on about the same idea. Figures and statistics work the best as they are difficult not to notice. They attract desired attention and give proven facts instead of someone’s presumptions and considerations. Avoid sentences that do not convey any significant information and sound boring.

3) Don’t ever stop learning

Learning to write is an endless process. The trends are changing endlessly, even in writing. Always look through the articles of genius writers, research best practices, write down phrases that sound thrilling to you, even though you think you will remember them in future. Believe me you won’t.

I am not a big fan of Apple devices, but I simply can’t stop admiring their style of writing. Just want you to know what I mean and sharing an article about Apple copywriters. Constantly find something that will inspire you to be as creative as you can.

Yet don’t forget to read books by the copywriting legends like Joe Vitale (Hypnotic Writing, 1995), etc. There are a lot of things to learn and unlearn about your writing style and your audience. Join different writing communities and let other writers give an estimate of your style, get some tips from them and get inspired with some ingenious pieces of writing.

4) Don’t revise and rewrite content immediately after writing

When writing, don’t focus on the grammar and word order. Express your thoughts and focus on your imagination. Leave all the details for the revision stage. Don’t revise your article each time you complete a paragraph. When you finish writing, give yourself some time to relax and free your thoughts. Go jogging or do something you enjoy. Only after your mind is clear, get down to the revision stage. Fix grammar but don’t modify the style you used when expressing your emotions. Always use spellchecker when you work with text editing, because it may be really hard for you to notice spelling mistakes you made accidentally.

Keep improving your writing style and in a few weeks, months or years you will read your previously written content and see that the difference is shocking. I hope these 4 recommendations will be handy to you, no matter whether you are a novice or experienced writer. I am wondering what you would add as a 5th tip in the list.

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