Clarity is one of the most important attributes of good writing.     This means ensuring that what you are writing is not open to interpretation. It is no good assuming that those reading what you have written will interpret the information as you intended them to. So the fact that the meaning of the […]

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By Jennigay Coetzer During 30 years as a journalist, writer, editor and writing skills trainer I have picked up many tips and tricks and observed many problems that writers encounter. A common mistake with any written communication is to assume the reader will interpret what you are writing as you intend them to. This is one […]

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Don’t be clever, be clear –

As novelist Stephen King once said, people use smart words because they are too ashamed of their simple ones.

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A major objective when writing an article is to attract the reader’s attention, pull them into the story and keep their attention throughout. To achieve this, it is important to choose a focused topic. This will keep you on track and avoid getting distracted and ending up with too many ideas in the article.

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I hope you like my latest writing tip – on preamble

Get to the point and make strong statements.

– Indulging in preamble will dilute the impact of what you are saying.

PS: You might also enjoy my latest writing tips article I have posted on my website: http://www.jennigay.co.za/blog/essential-tips-for-article-writers/

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Companies go to great lengths to get media coverage, but often don’t consider the risks associated with the exposure.

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 By Jennigay Coetzer Spokespeople might like to note that the saying “To assume makes an ass out of you and me” is particularly applicable to media interviews.   Human beings in general are notorious at making assumptions. We assume those we are communicating with are on the same wavelength as we are and are receiving […]

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A major objective when writing an article is to attract the reader’s attention and keep it throughout. To achieve this, get to the point quickly without any preamble, and make strong statements that are clear and concise.

Make sure you have not left any questions in the mind of the reader, by applying the “So what?” principal to every statement you write and ensuring this question is answered in the next sentence or two.

Understand the target audience, and consider the lowest common denominator among those who might be reading the article. For example, when writing an article that is going to be published on the internet, remember that anyone might stumble across it while searching for information to enlighten or entertain them.

Have a conversation with the reader as you are writing your article, and try verbalising what you want to say, or visualising how you would say it if you were telling someone about it face to face, before you write it down, instead of trying to think of the smartest words to use.

Three important words to remember when writing articles are clarify, qualify, and quantify. Clarification means making statements that are clear, articulate and complete and cannot be misunderstood or interpreted in different ways by different readers.

If you leave gaps in the information you are writing the reader will make his or her own assumptions as to what you meant, depending on their understanding of the topic, their background, experience, culture, personality, and other human factors.

Using examples is a powerful way to qualify your statements and put them in context by creating a clear picture in the reader’s mind. Quantifying your statements with supporting statistics will clarify what you are writing still further by giving the reader a measure, a point of reference, a place to start.

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When I wrote my first book A Perfect Press Release – or Not? I was faced with decisions about editing, publishing, distributing and publicising it. This was a wake-up call for me because as a journalist I was used to writing articles, handing them over to the editor at the newspaper and moving on to […]

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