20 Elements of Precise & Appealing Writing

Good writing is like a friendly face or a genuine smile; you might not be able to define it, but you know it when you see it. While almost anyone can enjoy good writing, considerable skill and effort are required to understand and identify the individual elements that make a story engaging. Brand publishing is especially difficult in this respect; brand editors are often tasked with spinning less-than-exciting dross from financial statements or annual reports into storytelling gold. While there's no magic bullet to great writing, the elements below will help your stories shine.

20 Elements of Good Writing

1. A Magnetic Headline

You want to catch the attention of your readers—and this is the first way to do that!

2. A Strong Opening

If the first sentence is dull or convoluted, chances are that your readers will immediately lose interest.

3. An Intriguing Question

All stories look to answer a question—make sure the question your article poses is a good one!

4. Reader Relevance

Is this potentially important to your desired audience? If not, you shouldn’t be writing it.

5. A Point of View

Without a particular angle on the topic, content can seem more like a simple news piece than a crucial article.

6. Clear Focus

Any piece of writing which meanders, instead of heading straight to the point, is not a desirable read.

7. Easy Readability

Your content shouldn’t go on for too long or be comprised of big, bulky paragraphs. Keep it (relatively) short and snappy!

8. Thoughtful Structure

Use bullets, subheads, etc. to break the piece up.

9. Effortless Flow

Sentences should lead logically into the next. Eliminate any that disrupt the stream of thought.

10. Visual Interest

Photos, infographics, or other visual elements will give the readers’ eyes something to feast on.

11. Accurate Information

If you include any facts, make sure they are correct. If you don’t include facts, consider whether you should.

12. Emotional Impact

Draw readers into your content with an emotional perspective or hook.

13. Humor—When Appropriate

Jokes or funny moments interspersed throughout the piece can help keep the audience engaged. But don’t force it!

14. Timely References

Make connections to appropriate cultural events or icons to keep your article young.

15. An Authentic Voice

Infuse the same passion in your writing that you do in your speech and readers will know you are writing from the heart.

16. Colorful Language

Dry and unimaginative language make content beyond boring. Make your stories come alive with exciting linguistic choices.

17. Grammatical Correctness

Nothing makes your writing seem less professional than grammatical errors or typos.

18. Consistency Throughout

Ensure your style is consistent. For instance: refer to individuals by the same name all through your article.

19. A Stylish Close

A dynamic closing sentence can help a reader remember your piece long after reading it.

20. A Call to Action

After reading your story, readers should want to act on the information. Give them a way to do so!

 

What other elements do you include in your writing? Let us know.

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