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 When we communicate, we often create an incomplete picture in the minds of those we are communicating with – like a broken jigsaw puzzle.       When it comes to verbal communication, the first two mistakes people make is to assume that the person we are talking to is listening to […]

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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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Every article should have an objective behind it, it should focus on a clearly defined topic, and it should be written with a specific audience in mind. Without a clearly defined topic, you are likely to end up with too many ideas in your article, which will confuse your audience, and writing it will be a major challenge. Similar problems will arise if you don’t have a clear objective.

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Every press release should have an objective behind it, regardless of whether it is going to be distributed to the media or posted on a website….

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By Jennigay Coetzer The misunderstandings that happen with verbal communication carry through to all forms of writing. This is apparent in articles, emails, promotional material, web content and all other forms of written content. Miscommunication has also become an issue with social media interaction, especially when companies are not very good at responding to negative comments from […]

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20 tips for writing better emails

Published on December 30, 2013 by in Writing tips

When responding to an email, read what the sender has written carefully first and try to put yourself in their shoes and understand what they are expecting from your response. Treat your email interaction as an important aspect of an ongoing relationship.

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20 Writing Tips for 2014

Published on December 29, 2013 by in Articles, Writing tips

Have a clear objective in mind before writing an article. Identify the target audience you are writing for and consider what they would be interested in hearing about and not just what you want to tell them.

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One of the prerequisites of being a good writer is to have an enquiring mind and not take anything on face value. This is the only way to develop a real understanding of what they are writing about.

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Good writers have the target readers in mind when they write an article, as opposed to just focusing on what they want to say. When people read an article they are looking for what’s in it for them, and if they cannot see this quickly they will move on.

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It is impossible to write a good article if the writer does not have a good understanding of the topic. To write an interesting article requires not taking anything on face value, making assumptions, or just regurgitating information found on some obscure blog.

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Most writers suffer from writer’s block at one time or another, but there are ways to overcome this. When I ask participants of the article writing workshops I run what their greatest challenges are with their writing, many of them will say they always get stuck on the opening sentence.

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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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Examples are a powerful way to clarify what you are saying when writing any type of article, because human beings don’t think in words. They think in pictures. So making strong statements in your articles and then putting them in context with examples will help to create a clearer picture in the minds of the target readers you are writing for.

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