Have you ever finished reading a piece of writing and then felt totally baffled about the intended meaning? Sometimes this is a sign that you are reading an advanced textbook, but sometimes this is a sign you're just reading unclear writing!
Bad writing is unkempt. It is disorganized and inappropriatelydecorated. It includes a lot of flashy words that just don’t fit.
The seven rules below will help you identify and create organized, clear writing that leaves the reader informed and satisfied.
1. Say what you mean说出你想表达的含义
Overly fancy words are not necessarily direct words, and they often fail to state your point clearly.
You should certainly be willing to improve your vocabulary, but there is an art to doing this without sounding like you’re trying a bit too hard. If you find that your writing sounds too vague or elementary, you must avoid going overboard with fancy-sounding words and, instead, try to find more precise words.
2. Give your readers a road map为读者提供引导图
Our brains like to receive messages in a tidy order. They don’t like to be surprised by a big point – which is why introductory statements are important. When writing, it is generally a good idea to start broad and provide an overview of the information to come. But don’t worry so much about this on your first draft.
You should never expect to write all of your messages in the correct order on the very first try – no matter what type of messages you are writing. You can reorder paragraphs and sentences for your final draft.
3. Get to the point适时切入主题
As mentioned above, every paragraph should have an introductory statement. This is important to establish a context or a background for the main point of a paragraph. But you should avoid overdoing it with the intro. Don’t surroundyour point – just introduce it and then go for it!
4. Cut the fat去掉不需要的部分
Every single writer who ever published a paper or a book has had to chop off some paragraph, page, or chapter that they loved. But if it doesn’t serve a purpose, it should go. But cutting the fat is healthy.
5. Don’t jolt the reader’s brain避免与读者的思路冲突
You may have some excellent paragraphs, but they are not going to be very pleasing to read if they jump awkwardlyfrom topic to topic. As you revise your paper, be sure to order your paragraphs in a sensible fashion and create smooth transitions between them. It just takes a few minutes extra, but it’s worth your time.
6. Use meaningful examples使用有意义的举例
If you are attempting to explain something complicated to your reader, it is a good idea to provide examples that will clarify the subject. But make sure your examples are meaningful.
Imagery is a good tool for showing examples. Graphs and tables will work, but whatever you decide to use to clarify your point, try it out on a friend. Have a friend, parent, or teacher read the segment with the example and see if it makes sense to them.
7. Punctuate properly合理添加标点
Observe the difference between these statements:
I once saw a man-eating frog.
I once saw a man eating frog.
You can change the meaning of a sentence pretty drastically when you leave out some punctuationmarks. What about this:
That that that that teacher wrote was incorrect.
It’s a little better when you punctuate with:
That “that” that that teacher wrote was incorrect.
Even if those examples are a little goofy, they do demonstrate the importance of punctuating.