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The Reader Is the Reason For the Writing


Bad writing is self-centered. It puts everything into the expression of the idea, and nothing into making sure the idea gets across.


But the purpose of a piece of writing is the reader's understanding, not the writer's gratification. Meeting the reader's needs should take center stage no matter what form of writing you undertake: a report, a memo, a short story, a news story, a letter, a proposal, instructions, an ad, or whatever.


Here are some questions you should ponder before you write:


Who is my reader?


What do I need to tell my reader?


What does my reader already know about this subject?


How will my reader probably respond: bored silly? Intrigued? Receptive? Hostile?


What is likely to go wrong and how can I avoid it? (confusion and boredom stem from writing that is too long, too complex, unclear or irrelevant)


What do I want to accomplish with this message?


How do I want my reader to respond?



By Susan Darst Williams Grammar Granny 011 2006


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