Saturday, March 6, 2010

Easy English Writing

When composing a piece that's meant to educate or inform, it's important to always have a picture of your target audience in mind. At the same time, you'll need to account for the least-enlightened of those set of readers and make sure your material will not fly over their heads. Basically, you'll have to dummy-proof your text, ensuring that the least-informed of those who need to read it will manage to follow your train of thought, instead of finding themselves lost amidst ideas they aren't sufficiently prepared for.
Identifying Your Audience
When you do, you'll have to identify the characteristics of that audience - from the things they know to the things they may not be privy to. The "dummy", in this case, will be the one with the least amount of exposure to the things your expected readers are supposed to know. If you're writing on client management for accountants, for instance, there will probably be a few new CPAs among your intended audience. When you're expounding on the virtues of MMA competition, there will inevitably be a handful of new fans who may take interest in it. Identify those individuals and decide if you wish to cater to them, too. If you do, then make sure your writing will not prove too difficult for them to manage.
When writing for an audience lacking some basic information, you may need to include explanations in certain areas of your copy. If that will bring it past your intended word counts, looks at the possibility of pointing them to external resources instead. Either way, make sure you provide them a way to catch up with your topic or risk losing them permanently.
Simple Vocabulary
Unless you're writing to an army of academics and linguists, complex vocabulary will never be as effective as using more common words and phrases. I hate nothing more than to have to consult a dictionary before I finish every paragraph in an article - I'm sure most everyone else does too. Use the built-in thesaurus in your grammar software to help you simplify potentially dense statements.
Repeat Key Points
To make sure that your main subject is effectively communicated, repeat key points throughout the text. As a rule, spelling out key ideas at the start, once in the body and again towards the end is ideal when you want the reader to walk away picking up the major points.


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