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What is good writing?

What is good writing?:

istock

Try to write down a list of five things that make writing good. Think about what makes you want to read an article or a book, what characteristics would an interesting, well-informed and readable essay have?

Think about this:

As you read through the list below, think about the list of things you wrote. Are any of the items on your list mentioned? I suggest this because I think you will find that you already have a fairly good idea of what effective writing is. I don't think the point of a unit like this is to tell you much that is devastatingly new. It is to bring into sharper focus what you ‘know’ already, and to help you apply these intuitions as you develop your own writing.
So, were any of these on your list?

  • If the writing is an essay has the writer actually answered the question in the title?
  • Is the writing well informed e.g., does the writer refer to relevant parts of the course for the main content of their essay?
  • Does the writer show a good grasp of the ideas they are discussing?
  • Has the writer presented a coherent argument?
  • Is it written in an objective, analytical way, with appropriate use of illustration and evidence?
  • Is it clearly written and well presented?
  • Is there a good flow of ideas, drawing the reader in and making them want to continue reading?

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