10 steps to the writing that reads well

with 2 Comments
Would you like your writing to read well?
Let me share a secret with you.🌹
There are 10 steps you need to take that can make any piece of your writing successful.
If you follow them, you will deliver your message more successfully and efficiently. And it will read well.
Why is it important at all? Who cares if it reads well?
You should. Because your text will be read by someone and corrected by an examiner if you are taking one.
Remember about a person who is going to read what you write. Try to make their life easier and make your writing easy to follow.

10 steps to follow if you want your writing to flow

1. PLAN 

Start by planning. If it is an exam, follow the instructions closely.
You can plan everything: arguments, examples, linking words, grammar, vocabulary.
You can plan by listing your ideas, arguments, or making a mind map.
Divide the ideas and arguments into paragraphs that will appear in your piece of writing.
If you want to know why and how to plan read more.

2. BRAINSTORM for IDEAS

It is important to have good arguments that are logically connected to the topic, and which you are able to develop with examples, data, explanation, details.
Don’t use arguments which are difficult to explain or are not closely connected to the topic.
If you have trouble coming up with good arguments, brainstorm for associations first. Think of 10 things that instantly come to your mind when you think of a topic.
Let’s say the topic is: WORKAHOLISM, words that you might come up with are, for example: work, health, addiction, death, unemployment, family, money, time, culture, job market. Now, you can use these words to come up with arguments and ideas.

3. START WITH A TOPIC SENTENCE

When you have organised your ideas into paragraphs, remember to include a topic sentence in every paragraph. This sentence should summarise and introduce the idea of the paragraph. In this way, your thoughts will be organised and easy to follow by the reader. They will not have to remember what you have said earlier or guess your assumptions. It will make your text flow.

4. DEVELOP YOUR IDEAS

Develop each idea that appears in your text for the first time. No new idea can be left unexplained, unexemplified or undeveloped. This will make your text clear, because every time time you say something you will let your readers know why you say it, or how it is connected with the topic.
This will allow you to focus on details and avoid generalisations. You will be able to concentrate on few ideas and you will not need to introduce more. In this way, you will avoid too many new ideas, which might make your text too long, wordy, verbose or waffly. And you want to avoid it.  Read more on paragraph writing, if you want to learn about topic sentences and idea development.

5. SEQUENCE

Sequence your ideas. Make friends with such words as firstly, secondly, finally. They will add structure to your text and enable you to organise your thoughts. It will be easier for the reader to follow and remember your earlier ideas. By using sequencing words, you will be able to signpost the changes in your text. It will allow you to avoid chaos.
SEQUENCING WORDS
firstly, secondly, thirdly/finally
first, next, last
in the beginning, then, in the end
first of all, also, lastly

6. BE LOGICAL

Show the connection between different ideas in the text. If you want to avoid chaos, it is necessary to explain what the link is between different thoughts. They can be connected by: contrast, consequence, result, addition, example, clarification, cause, effect, justification. You may easily show it by using linking words and functions.
LINKING WORDS AND FUNCTIONS
  • To add more ideas: again, furthermore, in addition, moreover, additionally, also;
  • To compare or contrast ideas: alternatively, contrastingly, conversely, whereas, on the other hand;
  • To prove something: evidently, for this reason, because, inevitably;
  • To show exceptions: however, nevertheless, yet, in spite of;
  • To repeat or refer back to something: as has been mentioned/noted…/As previously discussed…;
  • To emphasise something: definitely, obviously, inevitably, undeniably;
  • To give an example: for instance, in this case, in particular, notably, namely;
  • To show the order of things: previously, following this, initially, subsequently, finally.

7. BE CONCISE

Write to the point. Don’t deviate from the subject matter. Don’t repeat the same arguments. Justify briefly. Don’t exceed the word limit.
Follow the rule: one new idea+ at least one additional sentence developing it.
Be sure to express your thoughts precisely by avoiding redundant words and expressions which add no meaning to the text.
The fact that you are brief in form doesn’t mean you should miss out ideas. Be comprehensive in scope by including all necessary elements of the argumentation.
Avoid generalisation which is not linked to examples, facts, data quoted in the text. Generalise only basing on what you have said explicitly. Generalisation made without mentioning its source may be confusing for the reader.
Be precise. Focus on detail. If it is difficult, think of concrete, real situations related to them.
Write in as much detail as possible by offering data, examples, numbers.

8. APPLY APPROPRIATE FORM AND STYLE

Apply the appropriate form. Every piece of writing, especially during the exam, requires an appropriate form, such as a memo, report, letter or e-mail. Remember to follow the rules for writing these different pieces. Bear in mind the layout, division into paragraphs, paragraph development rules, headings, subject lines.
Style is equally important. This will include formal vs informal language characteristics. As a rule, the STANAG 6001 level 3 tasks require you to use formal language, so be sure to follow these principles. If you want to learn about formal style read more.

9. BE CORRECT

Correctness and accuracy in terms of grammar and vocabulary is another key feature of a successful and effective text. It doesn’t only mean that you know your grammar and lexis, but also allows you to get your message across, write precisely what you want to write, avoid misunderstandings. The choice of a grammatical form conveys meaning just as the lexical choices do. Read more about grammar for STANAG 6001 exams if you want to learn about the meaning conveyed by grammatical forms.

10. EDIT 

Last but not least, the biggest mistake you can make is to resign from editing altogether. So, make sure you have time to read your text after you have finished writing it. The aim of this procedure is to come up with a piece of writing which is complete, accurate and consistent. It means correcting mistakes, but not only. The elements that need editing are: structure, content, logic, correctness and style. Read more about editing to see the list of questions which you need to ask yourself after you have finished writing.
Following the above steps will make your writing well organised, interesting, clear and flowing. It will make it read well.
Good luck with your new, successful writing!

PS. Don’t forget to write what you think of these rules, or anything related to STANAG 6001 exams. Just comment below the post or write an e-mail (info@stanagexpert.com).

2 Responses

  1. Takang Lawrence
    | Reply

    Thanks you very much for the teachings on how to become a great / creative writer. To be candid I enjoyed every bit of the 10 points to always take into consideration when writing.

    Please, I am interested in business letter writing, I wish to get information on how your book could be of help to me.If I may equally get the purchase price and cost of posting a copy to Belgium I will be happy.
    Thank you very much for your understanding and cooperation in advance.
    Regards ,
    Lawrence .T

    • Małgorzata
      | Reply

      Hi, thank you for your kind opinion. My book contains a chapter on writing formal letters and e-mails. It is not oriented at business correspondence though, but rather on general rules of writing different kinds of formal letters and e-mails, focusing on such functions as requesting and providing information, complaining, offering and requesting advice, inviting, accepting and refusing an invitation, filing an application. They are not, however, set in a business context. They strictly refer to what is required of candidates taking a STANAG 6001 exam (level 3) in Poland.

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