Good Writing Says Something of Consequence

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Good Writing Says Something of Consequence. For writing to be effective, its intended readers should find something in it that they enjoy or want or need to know - something interesting informative or even surprising. So when a writer just strings together a series of generalities or repeats obvious arguments, the result isn’t good writing no matter how smoothly or correctly it’s put together. Understandably, you may feel that trying to say something a reader enjoys or wants or needs to know could be a challenge when that reader is an instructor or a professor. How are you supposed to know what an instructor wants to or needs to know or what she might find interesting or surprising? Of course, you do not know, but you should be able to make some guesses.

First, she wants solid information that pertains to the assignment: she wants clear assertions, supported with details or examples. And she will be pleased and surprised if you have taken the time to dig out some unusual details about your subject for example, that Elizabeth I often referred to herself as a Prince or that condoms in the United States were first marketed by German immigrant sausage maker who made them from surplus animal intestines.

You can test for significant content in something you’ve written by answering the following questions:

  • Have you made clear assertions with adequate detail?

  • Have you done research to gather some pertinent examples?

  • Have you shown what you learned while working on the project?

  • If you can answer yes to these questions, you’re probably saying some thing of consequence that someone wants or needs to known whether you’re writing for an instructor or a more general audience.

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  • It’s clear.

  • It’s organized.

  • It’s economical.

  • It’s grammatically acceptable.

  • It has no spelling errors.

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