English Grammar Blog
Choosing the Best Words for Your Writing
One of the keys to choosing the best words for your writing is to know your audience. If you are writing a piece for doctors, you would choose your words differently than you would for an audience of elementary school children. When writing, you must know your audience and how they will process the information.
Human communication, in all of its many languages and forms, offers many options. This can make things complicated when learning a language or trying to express a thought or idea. In different cultures and languages, some words have different meanings and some meanings have many different words. When we write something down for another person to read, we are trying to get them to understand our meaning with the same energy as if we were speaking it to them in person. This can be a difficult task, as reading is not the same as hearing and you can not always imply the same meaning in writing as you would when speaking to a person in front of you.
When writing something, try to find a way to convey your ideas in a way that is full of meaning, yet can be easily understood. Don’t overuse words and don’t be what is called “verbose.” Verbose is being too wordy, or trying to talk over the reader’s head, using large or confusing words. Instead, explain each idea in simple terms and never try to prove yourself to the reader. If your ideas are good and your writing is strong, there will be no need to be verbose. Keep things simple. Don’t waste space by filling the page with useless writing. Focus on what you want to say and make every word count, giving the reader the needed information without confusing them.
Also, when writing, try not to let emotion or personal opinion get in the way (unless you are writing a personal piece.) Too often, writers, journalists, and authors let their own personal opinions and experiences get in the way of their writing. This leads to writing that has become bloated and confusing. If you are writing about facts, stick to the information you have available and try to leave your personal opinions out of the piece.
If you are writing a personal piece, always remember to stay with the original subject. It is very easy to allow yourself to stray off the topic and begin to wander within your opinions on a subject, but remember that, although it is a personal piece of writing, you are writing for the sake of getting across an idea, personal or not. A writer needs to focus on a goal and write toward that goal.
When writing, try to remember that you are not the one reading. You are the one who is giving information, opinion, and expectation. The reader is the one who will determine what your writing means. Try not to lose yourself in your writing and simply focus on what you are trying to get across to the reader.
- How to Persuade Your Readers
- Using Questions to Draw in Your Readers
- Improve Your Writing by Simplifying Your Sentences
- Writing a Personal Reference Letter
- The Essentials of Readable Writing