What is Good Writing?

There are various methods of writing, be it narrative, descriptive, expository, or persuasive, and aside from those four major types, there are many other reasons why we write. We write to keep others informed, to text, to blog, to be social, to respond to others. So, how do we distinguish the good writing from bad if there are so many categories?

An educated individual would be able to tell when something is good or bad just by reading it- good writing is noticed when the topics are interesting, when it is organized, and when it has a voice that cannot be ignored. It contains expressive words, textbook words, even, that go beyond texting language. When you see writing in which the words and sentences flow well together and keep you interested in what you are reading, that is when you know it’s good writing.

Good writing is writing that does not drone on and on about the same thing; rather, good writing is that which gets to the point and makes a statement that lasts in your mind with even a simple paragraph. Like Skype says in their Born Friends video, “Words matter. Your words (what you say) and style (how you say it) are your most cherished (and undervalued) assets.” When writing, it is key to answer questions before they are asked.

In good writing, give data, give facts, and save your personal opinion for the appropriate time. Tell the full story when you write; the opposite of a good writer is a closed minded writer with a single view point and no discretion. Think of writing as teaching, where you need to make your message clear and self explanatory, so that others may be able to understand, repeat it, and keep the message moving along.

Ultimately, good writing is simple writing- that which tells a story that leaves its reader satisfied, rather than overwhelmed and confused. It is characterized by the words that are chosen, and the way in which they are used. There is no direct formula to good writing, but as Steve Peha says, “You know it when you see it.”

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