Great Writing

I find myself coming back to the basic fact that to make a document more readable the most important factor is how well it’s written. Since this project is not a guide to writing but a software product to help authors produce better documents, it is worth reflecting on what the aspects of effective writing is and from there how to support it. 

The author and writing consultant Dr. Stephen Wilbers has posted a guide online called Five Elements of Effective Writing and I am using it here simply since it is the top result in Google for the search “elements of great writing’. His points are:

1. Central Idea. “This element of good writing involves focusing on a clear, manageable idea, argument, or thesis around which to organize your material”

2. Organization. “This element of writing has to do with coherent arrangement of material. It involves keeping the reader oriented to the central and subordinate ideas.”

3. Supporting Material. “Explanations, examples, statistics, and quotations make the ideas and information presented meaningful and memorable for the reader.”

4. Expression, Word Choice, and Point of View. “Language is clear, specific, accurate, and appropriate to the audience, purpose, and material.”

5. Spelling, Grammar, and Punctuation. “This element of good writing counts only when it’s wrong.”

Of the elements listed above, the liquid view can contribute to the building of a central idea, the organisation and how to best integrate supporting material. The two other points are beyond the scope of this project but over time modules can be considered to add to also support these aspects.