Improve Your Content Game: Four Writing Tips To Fine-Tune Your Articles
You're reading Entrepreneur Middle East, an international franchise of Entrepreneur Media.
Have you heard of the term “laconic wit”?
It was formed to describe the blunt, and often scathing, humor and responses of the Spartans.
One of their finest examples of shrewd rejoinders proves that apart from pummeling heads with their fists and crushing spirits with a display of their abs alone, they could even crush minds with the pure awesomeness of their retort. Philip II of Macedon (father of Alexander the Great) decided to issue a threat to Sparta that, even though not accurately recorded, is roughly chronicled as such:
“If I win this war, you will be slaves forever.”
The Spartans’ reply?
Writing is a similar form of wordplay. It involves proper usage of words and more importantly, knowledge about grammar. If you want to express your writing eloquently, you should practice your craft with the following basic pointers.
1. Replace “very” words.
Try to make your sentences very colorful. I mean, try to make them vibrant.
People often feel that writing is an innate skill. However, more often than not, it is an art honed through repeated writing attempts and quite a lot of Google searches. Some of those searches yield spectacular lessons. Like this one:
2. Use a word document to keep it “SVO” at most times.
It is rather irksome when Microsoft Word displays a blue undulating line under your sentences only to recommend you to “consider revising” when you right-click on it. You might seem flabbergasted that MS Word finds an error in your sentence when it actually sounds right!
The reason the word processor suggests that you change the sentence format is because English is an “SVO” language, which is an acronym to show that the sentences in the language should begin focusing first on the subject (S), then the verb (V) and finally the object (O). In other words, you should change the sentence structure from a passive voice to an active form of expression.
Hence, a sentence such as “the game was played by Henry” should be “Henry played the game”. Using passive voice is not wrong. It is grammatically proper but it should not be overdone as it results a very awkward read.
3. Get comfortable with punctuations.
It is, quite important, to understand, proper; punctuation usage.
The above sentence must have been rather strenuous for the brain to comprehend easily. Improper punctuations cause similar levels of difficulty to a reader. It is preferable to spend time learning about the proper means to punctuate a sentence so that you know how to emphasize on the right words, divide sentences properly, and understand which sign to use before creating a list.
Should you use a comma or a semi-colon? When does the hyphen come into play? Do you need to add a dash or a colon for lists? Punctuations are critical to any writing and being familiar with them gives depth to your work and refines the meaning you intend to convey.
To understand punctuation, here is a nifty graphic.
4. Proofread not twice, but three times at least.
Ensure that you cehck your articel for spelilng erros.
See what happens because of a few simple script glitches? It ruins the flow of the article and can be distracting as well. There is no replacement for good proofreading. However perfect your vocabulary may be, scanning the article two or three times to pick out mistakes, if any, is always recommended.
Try to remember that it is often preferable to know when to express yourself with plenty of words and when to keep the word limit minimal. Redundancy is often a writer’s enemy, and hence, concision is a better rule to adopt.