Good writing isn’t only correct grammar and punctuation. It’s a lot more. It requires interesting and informative content, logical approach, and well-organized text. If all the right ingredients aren’t there in the right quantities, the final product isn’t going to be a good one, no matter how good your grammar, punctuation, or vocabulary. This is why the first writing advice given to anyone is to plan your writing. What is planning?
1. The purpose of your writing. That is, why are you writing? This is important because it is the purpose that decides on the content, style, and layout. For example, if you are writing an essay or a research paper for school, the style and layout would be much different than it would if you were to write an article for a newspaper or magazine, or perhaps a book or a journal entry.
2. The context of your writing. This refers to the situation you are writing for. That is, is the essay for an entry to a university? Is the article a political commentary or a financial analysis? This is important because it is on the context that that the format and style depends.
3. The audience for whom you’re writing. This is pretty obvious. If you’re writing for children, your content, style, and format will naturally differ from what you’d be writing for your professor; or if you’re writing for business executives than when you’d writing for the general public.
Once these points have been considered and thought of, get your ideas together. Some ideas may already be in your mind, others you may have to look up for, or research. Gather all your ideas from wherever you have to and put them down on paper in any form that suits you – lists, idea maps, spider diagrams, flow charts, or any other way that you prefer. Put down your ideas in brief without going into too much detail. You can use just keywords or phrases, depending on your preference. The idea here is for the points to serve as reminders as to what you are going to write, how you are going to write, and in which order.
Once you have everything down, re-read it. Have you got everything down? Do the ideas follow a logical order? Is the approach right? Once you have satisfied yourself in every way – start writing.
Do you plan your writing? If yes, how? If no, why not? We’d love to hear from you.