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Tuesday, November 9, 2010

The Geographical Location of Ideas

I read the words often.  You do too.  "In the preceding paragraph," is one example.  "As mentioned previously" is another way lazy writers attempt to connect the dots of a persuasive argument for a reader.

It's a lazy way to write, and it's a dumb way to write. 

Here's why.

It's your job as a writer to present your case to a reader, and your writing should make the logical connections for the reader.  When you do not do that and instead point out the geographical location of ideas in your work for the reader to see, remember or reread, you are making a great leap of faith and being lazy at the same time:  in forfeiting the responsibility to writing the transitional phrases and sentences that logically link your ideas for the reader you are trusting that the reader can make those leaps for him or herself.  Now, ask yourself:  how many people can successfully read your mind?  Let's assume everyone can.  Now, ask yourself:  how many people, after reading your mind, will axiomatically agree with you because they think you're right about everything?  If your answer is "everybody" then go ahead and point out the geographical location of ideas in your work because all of your endings will be happy ones.  That's what life is like in a fairy tale.

However, if you live in the real world with the rest of us, then reconsider pointing out the geographical location of ideas inside your work.  Don't let the example of others convince you that it's fine because a lot of people do it.  That bandwagon is as deceptive as bandwagons everywhere; just because it goes by doesn't mean you have to jump on it

Think for yourself instead, and write for your reader.  Write the transitional phrases and sentences that your reader needs to follow your point of view and agree with you because your argument is logically sound and they can see the connections because you have provided them.  If you don't, your reader may go looking for the place you have pointed out and not come back to finish reading, and ideally, agree with your conclusion.

1 comment:

  1. It is very important to incorporate sentence variety when composing any document. Doing this will keep the attention and interest of your intended reader. The writer should be conscious and constantly aware of his or her audience. In most cases, writers should not simply assume that they are always right in their opinions and suggestions, and they should avoid making their readers feel obligated to agree with their ideas and philosophies. Not everyone thinks alike. “The world according to Jane” may be completely different from “the world according to Joe” and authors should be prepared for the shock that their work is vulnerable to be interpreted in numerous ways. Writers may feel the need to state the obvious in their documents as well. Unfortunately, this action can actually be insulting to the intelligence of the reader. Instead, writers should focus on pitching their message in a diplomatic way so that the audience can decide for themselves whether or not they will agree with your argument. Creative writing with flare and charisma can serve as a tool for the author to cleverly craft their documents in such a way that the reader will be inclined to agree with the case at hand— without having the issue forced on them.