Even after reading a dozen of writing tips, you won’t write better until you change your mindset. Why is it so? The reason hides in the writer’s psychology.
You write in a certain way because you think in a certain way. To become a better writer you need to learn what hides behind pressing the buttons of the keyboard.
How to write better
There are 10 main steps to change your writing. To make them work, you must learn things to replace and avoid in writing.
Avoid huge pieces
Why: whatever you write, the longer the piece is, the more impatient the reader becomes. You write long texts because you simply add thoughts in a row instead of organizing them.
How: Cut off every extra details, unimportant information and duplications. The fewer words you write, the more powerful point you make.
Make sentences short
Why: long sentences confuse the reader. You write them describing the whole idea in order to sound complex.
How: Once you’ve written a long sentence split it into two or three smaller sentences. Otherwise, delete all unnecessary information.
Avoid passive voice
Why: it makes you sound vague. Teachers explain that we use this grammar phenomenon to hide the author.
How: find out who is the subject in the passive voice sentence and rewrite it to have a bold powerful claim.
Replace misleading words
Why: words like “most”, “general”, etc., make your claim weak. Using such words means that you not enough acquainted with the topic.
How: do your homework. Then you can’t be wrong.
Write it clear
Why: jargon and terminology ruin reader’s attention to the whole point. Clever phrases don’t make you sound smart, but arrogant.
How: imagine you are explaining your point to a dilettante in this sphere. Use simple language.
Use statistics properly
Why: numbers can be supportive when you don’t misuse them.
How: do a research to add credibility, but don’t forget to include the context of your statistics.
Make it personal
Why: personal pronouns help to build a relationship between the writer and the reader. You avoid writing “I”, “we”, “you” because it sounds informal.
How: imagine talking to a reader. Write a sentence to make it effective to that exact person.
Put the key sentence on the top
Why: to drew attention. You are not used to doing that because of the school program, which teaches to write in a certain way with the introduction first.
How: Write your main statement first whatever it takes and then proceed with explanations.
Don’t underestimate examples
Why: accurate data persuades the reader. To do that you need preparations, which means you need to do the research first.
How: figure out what proves your point and cite or set an example.
- Give the reader a preview
Why: before reading a long piece, readers want to know whether it’s worth their time. To organize the material, give it a proper structure.
How: write a couple of signposts or a numbered list after the main statement.