The Essence of Good Writing
Excellent writing is a craft that few possess the patience to learn. Nevertheless, the pen of the writer holds great sway in a world of competing views and ideologies. When done correctly, writing has the power to shape ideas and change the world.
Good writing begins with basic knowledge of the English language and grammar. Understanding word meanings and usage, spelling, punctuation, and sentence structure is critical to writing well. The ability to form coherent sentences and follow traditional grammar rules allows the writer to communicate clearly.
In addition, good writing requires extensive knowledge of the subject matter. The writer should research several reliable sources to fully understand all angles of the topic and then communicate it clearly to the audience. This prevents the omission of important details and lends the writer credibility.
In keeping with this goal of credibility, the writer should maintain a high ethical standard for his work. Personal bias should never replace facts. A truthful account demonstrates integrity and builds readers’ confidence in the writer.
The audience profoundly shapes the writer’s work. By understanding the demographics and expectations of readers, the writer can tailor his writing to meet their needs and communicate most effectively — all while maintaining truthfulness in his presentation of the facts.
Perhaps the most crucial element of good writing is simply practice. Head knowledge is useless without practical application. The writer must overcome fear of failure and devote time to writing in various mediums. Natural talent is no substitute for perseverance and relentless practice.
This article from the Washington Post about the kidnapping of a young girl demonstrates many aspects of good writing. The sentences are clear and concise, and the writer cites knowledgeable outside sources. Furthermore, the article contains gripping details and uses strong, descriptive language. All of these elements combined form an intriguing news story.