300 Days of Better Writing

June 17, 2013

Use thesis statements to introduce topics.


A thesis statement is a sentence or two that informs the reader about the main issue, topic, or idea about which you will write. They are necessary for effective communication.

In an academic essay, the thesis usually appears in the first paragraph, and it may state in obvious terms what idea you will discuss. An academic essay generally only has one thesis statement. For example, an academic essay may contain the thesis statement

“Pollution levels in Beijing have created major health concerns for residents”

and then continue to discuss the pollution levels, the effects of pollution on health in general, and the effect of pollution on Beijing residents.

Thesis statements are necessary in the “real world,” as well. They help the reader understand the purpose and theme of the upcoming text. A document may have several thesis statements, depending on its length and purpose. A formal letter may have only one main topic. A request for proposals may have a different thesis statement for each major section. Even a novel has a thesis statement: the introduction of the central conflict in the plot.

Thesis statements are important for two reasons.

  1. They give focus and direction to the writer. This helps you write a better organized and more cohesive document.
  2. They help the reader understand and mentally organize the content. This improves your communication.

Questions to consider: What is the main idea or topic of the document or document section? Do you state this idea or topic clearly?


Free E-book to Improve Your Writing Skills

Top writing strategies and expert instruction from
each of Precise Edit’s writing guides

  • 1 critical article from
    Precise Edit Training Manual
  • 8 days of instruction from
    300 Days of Better Writing
  • 5 top strategies from
    Bang! Writing with Impact
  • 2 essential word choices from Which Word Do I Use?
  • 1 major comma use from Zen Comma
  • 1 section on main verbs from Concise Guide to Technical and Academic Writing

Get the free e-book (PDF) OR

Purchase the Kindle version ($0.99).

May 28, 2013

Be brief.


When you wish to instruct, be brief; that men’s minds take in quickly what you say, learn its lesson, and retain it faithfully. Every word that is unnecessary only pours over the side of a brimming mind.
(Cicero)

Too many words spoil the message. Say what is necessary to communicate your idea. Get to the point. Give the reader what he or she needs. Cut out what is unnecessary. Clarity often comes from concision.


Free E-book to Improve Your Writing Skills

Top writing strategies and expert instruction from
each of Precise Edit’s writing guides

  • 1 critical article from
    Precise Edit Training Manual
  • 8 days of instruction from
    300 Days of Better Writing
  • 5 top strategies from
    Bang! Writing with Impact
  • 2 essential word choices from Which Word Do I Use?
  • 1 major comma use from Zen Comma
  • 1 section on main verbs from Concise Guide to Technical and Academic Writing

Get the free e-book (PDF) OR

Purchase the Kindle version ($0.99).

May 24, 2013

Write about, not with, emotions.


Speak when you are angry—and you’ll make the best speech you’ll ever regret.
(Dr. Laurence Peter)

You may be required to write about topics that anger you. A customer has written you a derogatory letter. An employee has demeaned the organization. A local politician has taken an insulting stance. Now, you are going to write a letter in response.

Write the letter, but don’t send it. In a professional setting, communications laden with negative emotions, condescending language, or insulting words will not help you convince others that you are right and they are wrong. Instead, use an objective tone.

The writing process may help you think through your ideas on the topic and overcome the angry feelings. But don’t send it—yet. Let it sit until you can approach the topic logically. Then re-write it.

You will make a much stronger case for your ideas when you can express them logically. Describe your feelings; don’t use them. Otherwise, you may not like the response you receive in return.


Free E-book to Improve Your Writing Skills

Top writing strategies and expert instruction from
each of Precise Edit’s writing guides

  • 1 critical article from
    Precise Edit Training Manual
  • 8 days of instruction from
    300 Days of Better Writing
  • 5 top strategies from
    Bang! Writing with Impact
  • 2 essential word choices from Which Word Do I Use?
  • 1 major comma use from Zen Comma
  • 1 section on main verbs from Concise Guide to Technical and Academic Writing

Get the free e-book (PDF) OR

Purchase the Kindle version ($0.99).

The Rubric Theme. Create a free website or blog at WordPress.com.

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 2,411 other followers