What is good writing?

Writing is the written communication of ideas. Although the quality of the idea is crucial, the quality of its communication possesses the power to make or break the idea. By carefully considering four factors: topic, audience, structure and grammar, a writer may enhance the interest, clarity, and credibility of his piece.

In order to write properly, the author must take into consideration a variety of factors. Firstly, he must consider his topic. If writing from a prompt, he must ensure that his piece remains focused, even if an exciting yet tangential idea surfaces.

Secondly, he must know his audience in order to ensure that his material fits his audience in both style and language. If his audience consisted of children, his style would perhaps be more conversational and his language would take on an informal tone. However, if he wrote for a committee, his style would be highly formal and his language more technical.

Thirdly, good writing requires good structure. Without an introduction, thesis statement, transitional phrases, and conclusion, readers easily become confused and lose the thread of an argument. These organizing elements, although occasionally redundant, prove invaluable to readers who do not have the same level of familiarity as the author does with the topic.

Finally, the author should strive for grammatical correctness in his piece. Obvious errors, such as missing punctuation or noun-verb disagreement can disrupt the reader, jolting him out of his track of focus. More subtle errors, such as comma errors or ambiguous pronouns can simply add confusion to the message; however, both types of errors reduce credibility.

Although many factors influence the quality of writing, topic, audience, structure, and grammar are crucial to clear and successful writing. By consciously applying these four factors, anyone may instantly improve their writing and be well on their way to producing “good writing.”

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