300 Days of Better Writing

March 10, 2010

The Power of Three

Filed under: WritingExcellence — preciseedit @ 10:41 am

Our brains are funny. They tend to understand, organize, and remember groups of three. Groups of three, as a result, have an impact on the way we think. We can use this mental capacity to create impact in our writing.

We do this by using a group of three items for statements that we want readers to focus on, think about, and act upon. Let me give you an example of the power of three in action.

“Our tax system hurts businesses, deters savings, and creates hardships for families.”

In a larger context, a statement like this can work as the introduction to a larger discourse about the three effects mentioned. By using this, the writer helps the reader organize and understand the content to follow. And the reader will more likely remember these key points. That’s impact.

Such a statement also works well as the conclusion to a paragraph, which is where we often find impact statements. If we use this example as the final point, the summary impact statement, we might revise it as follows.

“These data tell us that the tax system is bad for the economy. It hurts businesses, deters savings, and creates hardships for families.”

The point is this. You can use the power of three to emphasize your ideas, influence your readers, and create impact.

(This is the tip for day 111 in 300 Days of Better Writing.)


1 Comment »

  1. Ah. I see what you did in the last sentence!

    Great blog. *bookmarks*

    Comment by Jay — March 15, 2010 @ 1:13 pm | Reply

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