Writing is a means to 1) discover your ideas, then 2) express them in a way your reader(s) will understand.
To improve your writing skills, we suggest that you consider five things:
1. Who are you? (the Writer)
- Understand yourself and your role in the writing situation.
- What position are you writing from? (expert or inquirer, seeker or sharer of information)
- Are you writing as yourself or representing someone else (a company, for example)?
2. Why are you writing? (your Purpose)
- What do you wish to accomplish with your writing?
- What are you communication goals?
- Are you getting or giving information, or both?
- What do you want the reader to understand or do?
3. What is your message? (your Content)
- What ideas do you wish to share?
- Find out what they are (by brainstorming)
- Focus in one or two main ideas and recognize the sub-ideas that support them.
4. Whom are you writing to? (the Reader)
- Who will read what you write?
- What is your relationship to them?
- How will you establish a connection with them?
- What is their position?
5. How will you write? (your Method and Language)
How will you organize your thoughts?
- What language will you use (structure and vocabulary) to express your ideas?
- What format is best (short note, list of points, e-mail, formal letter, researched paper, etc.)
- What standards will you use to insure that your message is clear and respectful to your audience?