I learned several things when I read the “Principles of Effective Writing” section. There were five specific ideas I grasped almost immediately.
1. The shorter the better. The words and sentences used in an article should be less complex. The book said that a sentence should have no more than 20 words in it.
2. One paragraph, one idea. Each paragraph should only contain one idea. This makes it easier for the reader to stay interested in the article.
3. Lead paragraphs contain answers. In the first two paragraphs of the article, the questions who, what, when, where and why should be answered. The first of those questions you answer is the one that is most important to the article.
4. Don’t elaborate. Say what you want to say and conclude. More often than not, people want the news and they want it right then. Readers don’t want to have to read into anything more than they have to.
5. Back up opinions. If the writer has an opinion about something, make sure there is a statistic or quote that backs it up. Without a credible statistic or quote, the opinion won’t matter.
Twitter helps people write better blogs and better articles. Since Twitter only allows 140 characters per tweet, the person tweeting needs to write concisely, coherently, concretely and clearly in order for their point to be complete. After practicing in Twitter, the blogs seem to become easier to write.
Not only does Twitter help when writing blogs, but it also helps when writing articles. It helps the writer get the point out quickly and precisely. In the article “Better Tweeting Equals Better Writing, And It All Starts With A K.I.S.S.,” Cori, the author, gives a great example of how Twitter is helpful.
Any writer worth their salt should know how to write (1) concisely, (2) coherently, (3) concretely and (4) clearly—and this is exactly the type of writing that Twitter forces you to do. Well… forces most of us to do at any rate.