When we read a text, we expect to get certain information… but sometimes, we just don’t understand the message. As readers, we are unsatisfied, while the author remains misunderstood. The communication is not achieved, the transmission of ideas is ineffective and knowledge is constrained.
As a writer, you want to avoid this from happening. We give you seven basic tips to write a good text:
- Think first: Before writing the first word, think about what you want to communicate; what is the main idea, your point of view, the message you want to convey, your intention. If you are unable to grasp it, ask yourself: what do you want your reader to remember?
- Write an outline: You need to know the basic structure before starting to write. Think that your text is a route and you have to guide your readers until the end of the road. According to your intention, this structure might be chronological or disorganized, but always keep in mind that every element that you include leads towards an end.
- More is not always more: Jorge Luis Borges said that it is a laborious and impoverishing delirium to write in 500 pages an idea which can be perfectly exposed in a few minutes. Economize. Don’t write uselessly.
- Watch out for spelling mistakes: You can have the best ideas, but if they’re not written correctly, your reader will probably close the page.
- Be authentic: Have you talked to someone but don’t believe a word he/she is saying? Perhaps it is because that person is not being honest. The same happens with texts. Don’t use flamboyant words just to sound knowledgeable, for example. Be yourself –always.
- Don’t steal: We are influenced by the conversations we have, what we read and all our experiences. We can be innovative, but it is complicated to ascertain that we are 100% original. So, make sure that every time you borrow an idea cite properly. You wouldn’t like to see how someone appropriates your ideas or your work without giving you the credit, right?
- Let it sit and double check: Once you’re done, take a rest and distance yourself from the text. This detachment will allow you to evaluate (no emotions involved) the quality of your text, so you can make the pertinent corrections. Remember to double-check for any little mistake.
When a journalist asked Federico García Lorca why he wrote, his answer left a powerful phrase: “I write so I can be loved”.
You write so that the ideas running in your head, find their space in an intelligible text that others can read and consume. You want to communicate concepts and arguments.
A good text conveys a point. You write for your readers. Remember that always: it might be the best tip of all to write a good text.
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