To improve one’s writing is to improve one’s choice of content and context. Content refers to the topic plus the supporting facts or details. Context, like ‘style’ refers to the manner by which the writer addresses his topic. It is dependent on three things: purpose, audience and medium. All three aids in defining what to use in terms of: persona, voice, and words.

Identifying content and the context of writing it, is not easy especially when one does not read. Good writers are wide readers!

Reading materials provide information for possible topics to write about. It also exposes a person to various writing styles and vocabularies that are particular to an audience. Recognizing all these, a person can easily select a topic to write about and a manner of writing it.

Having read a lot does not mean that a writer can instantly write clearly. What one cannot understand, one cannot re-tell. There should be proper comprehension of what has been read for a writer to be able to write about something. Journals or logs while reading is advisable; it allows for note-taking, as well as drafting which may later be expounded into a full-blown article.

Meanwhile, there is the danger of plagiarism in this process. Writers are often tempted to copy exact lines from what they have read. To stop this, a writer must force himself to consciously practice innovation; double checking from time to time his articles against the materials that he has read. To innovate is to do something ‘new’ or ‘different’ with whatever resource or information is available.  This is not easy but is also not impossible.

Great writers do not only have technical skills, they read a lot and find new ways of writing about things.

About the Author:
This is an article contributed by kyoksil in response to the job posting for associate writers and transcriptionists.