Thursday, January 28, 2010

Qualities of Good Writing

Meaning: A writer's message
  •  There is a point to my writing - I can answer the question: "What do I want to say?"
  • There is a reason I am writing this - I can answer: "Why am I writing this?"
  • I can tell enough about my topic so that others can understand what I am writing about. - I can answer the questions: "Who, what, where, when, why, how?" 
Form and Structure: A way of putting your ideas together so that it makes sense and is easy to follow.
  • I have a beginning, a middle and an end.
  • I group similar ideas/things together.
  • I group similar sentences together to form paragraph(s).  
  • I stick to my message without going off track.
Language: Word choice - words should be carefully chosen so that they paint a picture in the reader's mind.
  • I try not to use the same word(s) over and over.
  • I try to use descriptive words and/or phrases.
  • I use good vocabulary. 
Voice: This is the "sound" of the writer/writing. It is the YOU coming through the writing. It is your style and personality.
  • Your voice shows how you feel.
  • It makes your writing "sound" like you.
Conventions: Grammar
  • My words are spelled correctly.
  • I started each sentence and all names with a capital letter.
  • I put a punctuation mark (. ? !) at the end of every sentence.
  • I checked each sentence to make sure it made sense. All sentences should tell two things - WHO  or  WHAT is it you are talking about, and WHAT ABOUT IT. 


Kris Maruno
Photo by Fire-Poi


  1. All true, and this is a nice concise way of putting it!

  2. It's a nice tutorial. It is very useful too.
    Thanks for posting.

  3. Beautiful, Kris, Spot-ON!

    I will continue to DRC, Drop, READ, Comment. Lord knows, I kin' use your advise, cause, Ima-all, messin' up!


  4. This is something to keep in mind everyday as you write those blog articles.

    Seek No More

  5. Thanks Kris for you guide, easy to understand but not easy to do, lol!

  6. Well done, but I disagree with most of it, particularly the first three sections.

    I find no meaning in anything and prefer cave paintings to mass debation. All those objective and adverbial questions mean nothing at the subatomic level where most of the really important stuff takes place.

    Life has no beginning, middle, or end. That is a conceit foisted upon humanity by teachers. You know the cliché: writers write; buttheads teach.

    Life has no structure and groupings are totally arbitrary, depending on the culture that helps determine them. All of humanity has been put here to send messages into space to solicit reponses from beings that do not exist for purposes that are never made clear.

    Language is a virus that infects rather than informs. Read some W. S. Burroughs, particularly The Ticket That Exploded. I like the virus. I embrace it. I foment it. Pass it on.

    Vocabulary is no more important than hair style or clothing choice. On the Internet, everything is permitted. Nothing is revealed.

    I am incapable of feeling, so how is my voice supposed to convey this uncomfortable reality? My writing always sounds like whoever I think might have written it if I had been that person.

    Grammar is another invention of teachers. I actually taught from a text entitled Writing Good Sentences that was quite informative in convincing me that writing cannot be taught and descriptive grammar is another oxymoronic pile of horse exhaust.

    Finally, blogging is not much different from flogging. I do it with latex gloves. I call it safe hex.

  7. Doctor, you bring up some interesting arguments but overall I would have to disagree. You are a making a fundamental mistake of equating Life and Art. "Life has no beginning, middle, or end. That is a conceit foisted upon humanity by teachers." An artist's job isn't merely to depict life. It goes beyond that. Whether consciously or unconsciously a writer must put a frame around his vision of life, what it means to him/her. Art is an interpretation of Life but not life itself. Your argument against vocabulary and grammar are merely arguments against convention-which may have their place- but without tools, no writer can express anything worth a reader's time. Frankly it sounds like excuse making from a lazy high school student.

  8. Wow looking at Doc's and Nomad's opinions made me re-read your post. I did not realize you were providing fodder for debate. ;o) Thanks for your comment on my site regarding the whole Cornyman debacle. He apologized by the way. Stop by my site for the details. Take care my friend. ;o)

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  10. Nevertheless, I believe you still have some useful tips.

  11. it true...can't wait your next article

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  15. Thank you for this proper guide,I think this tutorial is useful for we people and I feel that these points must be noted while writing blog articles..

  16. Thanks for this guide.I hope it would really be helpful to all the writers on the blog specially to the beginners like me.I would try my utmost to abide by the rules that you mentioned here.

  17. Thank you very much for listing all important qualities of good writing. Quality content promoted with a good SEO plan and Social Media boost is definitely a win-win combination. Isn't it?

  18. I don't know if I'm a good writer but I do try to just say the words as if I was vocally saying them then type them in the form.

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