Writing Tips For Non-Academics
Guest post written by John Obstander on March 6, 2018
Expressing one’s thoughts and ideas can be a tangled process, especially if there’s a given lack of experience delivering essays, papers and other written materials. Conveying ideas and putting them into words are tough if you haven’t had the practice. If you found yourself in a position of being lost for words, do not fret. There are ways to break through this plateau, and we’ll go over them in this very article.
So, without further ado, here’s a rundown of practical tips you might want to use in order to write compelling texts.
Writing Tips For Non-Academics Begins Here:
Number 1. Tell a Story.
Every text/article has a narrative arc, even heavily research-based ones. This narrative can center around people, concepts, problems, solutions and how they develop over time. As long as you can trace a narrative thread across your piece, the person/audience you’re writing for will have an easier time following and relating to your story. The 5-act dramatic structure works wonders.
Number 2. Appeal to the Senses.
To make your writing more accessible to people, make sure to evoke feelings or sensations. Or – to paraphrase – show, but don’t tell. Come up with a vivid description whenever there’s a need for it. Use metaphors and comparisons to paint a brighter picture or whenever you are having a tough time providing expository lines.
Number 3. Focus on the Details
If you tend to focus on the big picture, this step might be a bit challenging, but details rock if you use them right. The devil’s in the details and this applies heavily to writing. However, those details have to matter in the grand scheme of things. Having those details just for the sake of it is never a good idea, it makes your piece bloated and in need of trimming.
Side note, there’s a piece of great advice I’ve gotten from a colleague of mine during my stay at NerdyMates. If you’re also looking for a way to practice and entertain yourself at the same time, try sneaking in an Easter egg or two. Subtle references are often what separates good and great writing. It’s also a great to speak to your audience directly.
Number 4. Understand Your Audience
Think of your audience when composing each and every paragraph of your text.
How old are they? What do they like? How well can they relate to what you are talking about in your piece?
All these questions are essential to take into account when working on an article, as they help you be on the same wavelength as your audience. As long as what you are writing about is relevant to them, keep it up. If you realize you’re barking up the wrong tree, stop and analyze. What would your audience rather get from you? Act on it.
Number 5. Establish a Purpose
Every text has a purpose, at least there should be one. Are you informing about something? Are you trying to force a conversation? Or maybe you’re trying to sell something? You, as the author, are in charge of educating your audience, entertaining them, or raising an important discussion around a specific topic.
Make the purpose of your message clear and always align your writing with it. As soon as you lose it out of your sight, you are destined to lose the readers’ interest.
Number 6. Proofread and Edit
This point is vital to any text, period. Every person is different and if you are anything like me, then you are writing fast, and asking questions (i.e. Proofreading) later. This means that every so often you make typos, miss words, or jump from one idea to another.
If so, don’t worry: it is absolutely fixable. Proofread and edit your creation once you’re done with it.
You can always use dedicated tools to save some time. There’s an assortment of tools available online, but nothing beats the all-in-one solution offered by Ginger’s Checker. Check for typos, rephrase sentences for improved readability and use the inbuilt dictionary to the fullest extent. Accept no substitute if you ever find yourself in a tough spot.
Number 7. Develop a Unique Voice
Every person uses language to communicate, but there are idiosyncrasies that separate any given person from the rest. And it becomes a lot more apparent if you’re writing something with the scope of hundreds of pages. Do not try to mimic someone you admire as you go, but instead focus on developing your own style and tone.
This is arguably the hardest and most agonizing step: Be creative, always stay true to yourself and own up to your writing.
It is not surprising that both young and older people alike often feel horrified by the prospect of writing an elaborate text from scratch.
Don’t give in and procrastinate, everything’s not as hard as it seems. But you need to stick to a certain routine, like the one outlined above. It takes practice and discipline, but what doesn’t? Dedicate some time to learning the ropes, and who knows, maybe we’ll see your name on a book cover soon alongside the greats.
About the Author
John Obstander is a content marketer with immense experience in creating, selling copies, being a contributing writer to numerous blogs and being awesome in general. John is a true believer that high-quality writing can make our world a much better place. One text at a time.