1. Have a clear understanding of your purpose before you begin. Writing
without a purpose is often uninspired and mechanical. You must be
interested in what you write; if you aren't, why should you expect your
audience to be?
2. Consider your audience and tailor your writing style to the
audience's sensibilities and sophistication. For example, if you are
writing for preschoolers, you are more likely to use monosyllabic words
than if you are writing for graduate students.
3. For most writing tasks, make sure your composition has a clear-cut
beginning, middle, and end (also known as introduction, body, and
conclusion). The introduction is your first opportunity to communicate
with your reader, so make sure you grab the reader's attention and
introduce him/her to the topic. Use your body paragraphs to expound on
the main idea. Your conclusion is your last opportunity to communicate
with your reader, so use that opportunity to drive your point home.
4. Make sure your tone is appropriate for your subject. Keep your tone
consistent throughout the essay.
5. Vary your sentence structure. Too many short, simple sentences make
your writing elementary, and too many long, convoluted sentences make
your writing ostentatious.
6. Too many people write the way they speak. Spoken English and written
English are not one and the same. Make sure that you follow the
conventions of Standard Written English when you are writing a formal
7. Proofread, proofread, proofread. The first draft should be viewed as
the basic prototype; revision of sentence structure and word choice
brings the essay closer to perfection.