- Is my message as complete as my reader would want or need?
- Your writing should consider your audience and how much inside experience they have on the topic you are using. Feel free to get technical, if your audience is advanced enough for the information to come through clearly, but don't be afraid to simply it for a less in-the-know target reader either. Another point to consider is if you covered everything necessary to ensure clarity. Did you have to give any background information? Should you go more in-depth in a certain area of the piece? Keep the previous knowledge of your readership in mind.
- Are my words appropriate to communicate with this particular reader?
- Did you use jargon that applies to the field you are writing about? If so, how much did you use and how complicated was it? Did you use any language that might be offensive to a group you are focusing on? Evaluate what words, phrases, and sayings you used in the work to determine if they line up with your reader's expectations. Don't be afraid to do a little research to find out what fits in this category, either.
- Is the tone I've established likely to get the response I want?
- Whether you realize it or not, every piece of writing you do is persuasive. You want the reader to get involved in the story, you want the reader to absorb the information you have given him/her, and you want the reader to enjoy your novel, report, or essay. In order to accomplish this, you must have adopted a tone that will agree with the reader. If you write an essay about the joys of motherhood meant for expecting parents, you won't want a sarcastic tone to dominate your novel. If you want to persuade someone to agree with you, you will write a different way than if you are trying to get someone to disagree with your opposition. Allow your writing style to convey your meaning along with your words.
Wednesday, January 25, 2012
Strengthening the Message
Tips from Proofreading: Plain and Simple by Debra Hart May, with my commentary: