|Ten Tips to Help You Finish Writing Your
by: Ann Roscopf Allen
Full Article ]
- Set aside a time to write and keep it sacred.
- Remove all distractions while you write.
- Outline your plot.
- Avoid the intimidation of a blank computer screen.
- Keep a draft mentality.
- Don't feel compelled to begin at the beginning.
- Organize your files, especially if you are not
going to write in order.
- Revise, revise, revise.
- Don't be afraid of putting yourself out there.
- Only you can determine when you are finished.
Writing Tips - Writing Effectively
Writing Effectively: A Two-Part Guide,
by: Jan Kovarik
Everything we do involves communicationwritten,
verbal, and nonverbal. Today, due to the Internet and
the World Wide Web, written communication is emerging
as the primary format. Writing effectively is now an essential
Sadly, writing skills are no longer emphasized in grade
school. High school students do not have the skills for
writing term and research papers. Colleges and universities
are re-introducing writing skills into their curriculum
in order to produce graduates who do possess these skills.
The goal of this article, however, is not to teach you
how to write your doctoral thesis on the theory of why
aardvarks did not evolve a brain big enough to support
deductive reasoning. That task we will leave to the robed
and mortar-boarded professors in the ivy-covered halls
of higher learning. The purpose of this article is to
give you some ideas and methods to use when you set out
to write text for your web-based newsletter, self-marketing
materials, or perhaps the self-help book that you are
writing as a companion guide for your coaching or mentoring
Part 1 will cover just some of the basics of how to outline
and write your text. Part 2 will help you review your
work, and how you can take your own good work and make
OUTLINING YOUR TOPIC
Divide your topic into at least three workable segments,
and title each segment. Now take those three segments
and put them in their most logical order. Before the first
segment, title an introduction, allow for a conclusion
after the last segment. Now you have a workable outline.
Outlining the Segments
Dont worry about your introduction or conclusion
just yet, concentrate on the segments. Take each segment
and break it down into a few parts. Bear in mind that
each of these parts may be no more than a
few sentences, so list as many distinct parts as you need
under each segment. Just as you did with the segments,
look at the parts youve listed. Put them in their
most logical order. Now your subject matter in each segment
is well ordered. With an orderly outline, you can insert
new segments or parts at any time, and delete or rearrange
the ones you have. When your outline is formatted to your
satisfaction, you can begin to write with the confidence
that you have not forgotten any key element.
WRITING YOUR TOPIC
It is not necessary to write your text from start to finish.
With your detailed outline, you can write each piece separately
if you prefer. One thing you might want to consider, however,
is to always try to complete a part or segment before
you close up shop for the day. You will run the risk of
forgetting your line of thinking when you next sit down.
If you must leave a part undone, take a few moments to
make a few notes that will jog your memory when you are
ready to write again.
As you write, if you find that Part C of Segment 2 now
works best as Part A of Segment 1, you can easily re-structure
your work. Just be sure you tidy up after yourself. If
Part B of Segment 2 refers to what was Part C in Segment
2, then you need to correct that reference (or make whatever
change is necessary to direct your reader).
Think of your target audience and write to that level.
If you are addressing children, write in short, simple
sentences. If you are writing for working women, use language
and terms that pertain to their profession. Writing in
lofty prose and substituting a five-dollar version of
a fifty-cent adjective will not necessarily prove you
are an effective or even good writer. Write for the people
who are most likely to read your text in the words they
FINISHING YOUR TEXT
When you have written your main text, you can easily add
the introduction and the conclusion.
In one or two clear paragraphs, you tell your reader what
they are about to read. It might help to have your outline
handy and you can just add a little meat to those bones.
Dont try to describe anything in detail, just use
some easy, descriptive lines about the text as a whole.
A third and final paragraph of your introduction can be
a list of the order in which your topics (segments) are
Your conclusion should be shorter than your introduction.
After all, your reader has just plowed through the entire
textshe doesnt want new information at this
point, nor does she need a complete re-hash of the text.
Wrap up some loose ends, point out the conclusions you
hope the reader has drawn. If your work is a self-help
text, you might want to personalize your ending by adding
a word of appropriate encouragement.
You can use these ideas for any writing assignment that
you have before you, be it a newsletter article, a how-to
manual, or the next New York Times #1 Bestseller. Order
your thoughts in easily manageable pieces, arrange the
pieces logically, write your text with your targeted audience
in mind, and then slap on an introduction and wrap it
up with a conclusion. Now you are writing effectively!
Look for Writing Effectively Part 2 for tips
on how to proofread your own work.
About The Author
Jan K., The Proofer is a full-time freelance proofreader
and copyeditor. In business since 1996, she has enjoyed
working for a diverse world-wide clientele, covering subject
matter including academic research, medical law, consumer
surveys, and self-help materials. Please visit http://www.janktheproofer.com
for more information.
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