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30 Sep 09 5 More Ways to Improve Your Writing Part-IX

The importance of a good research to bring depth in the writing can never be underrated. A proper research digs the material required for writing; therefore, in this part of the 5 Ways to Improve Your Writing series I will talk about the power of research, and how to employ it to make your writing better.

Keep it simple stupid

Do not complicate your writing, nor should you complicate your research objective; keep it simple stupid. By keeping things simple, you will have clear objective of what you want, and why you are undertaking certain activity. A complex idea never gets executed.

Rethink what is normal

While researching for your big book, do not take anything for granted. Things that you or people around consider normal may be just so because of the laxity in thought on your part. Think it over and find why something is normal and others are not considered normal. Ask why writing with right hand is normal, and using left hand to write is not normal? Ask simple questions and challenge the faculty of normalcy.

Challenge the assumption

When you start researching for a subject, you assume certain things and then move forward to prove it. Just think how great a tragedy will it be when half-way though your research you come to know that your assumptions where faulty? Do not just assume the assumption; verify it before developing it further.

Muse and Map

Thinking is the best way to check your assumption, and explore the topic. Before you take your research gear, just sit tight and think over the topic, and take mental note of things that pop up. First make a mental map then draw it on a paper. The mind map thus made will be very effective.

Take time out for research

Do not conduct a research when you are eating or doing any other secondary work. If you want quality output from your work then you need to put designated hours in research. Do not multi-task when doing research; concentrate on the topic at hand, and try to find the information required to answer the questions posed.

Tags: Assumption, Assumptions, Clear Objective, Doing Research, Laxity, Left Hand, , Muse, Normalcy, Quality Output, , Rethink, Simple Questions, Tragedy

24 May 09 Anatomy of a Persuasive Letter

As the name suggest, a persuasive letter is written with an intention to move the recipient in the certain direction. Writing and winning the reader can be both easy and difficult depending upon the nature of the letter, and the mood of the recipient. If the recipient is in positive frame of mind, and is likely to accept the proposal then even a weak logic and not-so-strong persuasive letter will be effective, but if the recipient is not likely to accept your proposal then it will need some convincing before the recipient agrees to the proposal. Writing this kind of persuasive letter takes some research and effort.

There is a certain structure you need to follow in order to build a strong argument that in turn will win over the recipient. Before discussing the structure of a persuasive letter, let’s first talk about the research objective. The following list will tell you what all you need to know before you can begin writing a persuasive letter.

  • Define the target audience
  • Purpose of writing a persuasive letter.
  • Make a list of information you want to include in the letter
  • Make a list of supportive arguments. The arguments will show the reader what is in there for him.
  • Make a list of possible objections, or mental block that might be pushing the reader to decide against your proposal.
  • Is there something peculiar about the problem you are going to address? Make a list of it.

Anatomy of a persuasive letter

Introduction: Introduce your product, services and request in this first paragraph. Outline the important changes in this new version.

Outline the benefits: The introduction paragraph should be followed by the paragraph that will talk about the benefit of the product, services and request you are making. In this paragraph write statements that will build case for you.

Call for action: Once the recipient knows about the benefit he will have by accepting your proposal, you need to tell him what you want from him, and what action he should take to help you.

Thanks: Thank your reader for the time he has devoted in reading the letter. Also include a conclusion in this final paragraph. The conclusion should be as forward thinking as it can be.

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