The Three C’s of Writing

Effective writing meets three requirements. It caters to the needs of its audience, readers. It accomplishes this by providing the information, entertainment, opinion or instruction they seek. Effective writing possesses clarity. Finally, effective writing does not go on interminably; it is concise and shows frugality in length and detail.


When catering to an audience’s needs, a writer must keep these things in mind:
� Their message or the purpose, entertainment, information, or instruction, of the piece.
� Selecting a format which will most effectively convey the message.

For example, in the Bible, several books of the New Testament are actually letters to the congregations of the young Church. Chapter books and text books are widely utilized in classrooms. Brochures introduce companies and sometimes people. Cover letters introduce job seekers to potential employers. Each of these example’s format are intrinsically suited to the message and audience. Cover letters give a brief introduction of the job seeker’s work history and express the desire for employment; it is a personal contact with a formal tone. Text books distill specific information on a general topic for the purpose of instruction; they are typically segmented into subtopics which progressively build readers’ knowledge base, etc.


Clarity relies on consistency in style and tone. It should suit the purpose, audience, and format of you piece. Sudden jumps in these areas can undermine the effectiveness of a piece. Jumping from humorous satire to an involved technical social analysis does not keep your audience engaged. Abrupt shifts in style and tone distract the reader and undermine the continuity of the piece.

The correct application of the rules of spelling, grammar and punctuation enhance clarity. When used well and consistently, the conventions of grammar and punctuation insure that the writer says what they intend to say in the way that they intend to say it. Effective writers invest time and effort making sure that their punctuation and grammar are well done; this supports clarity and thus a piece’s accessibility to readers. Incorrectly spelled words and using the same words or repetitious phrases sap the credibility of a piece and stifles its flow. Correct spelling as well as variability in word choices is an absolute must in effective writing.


Finally, as a writer revises and edits a piece, they must strive to trim their writing, so that every remaining word performs well and significantly in their piece. As they review their work, they check for details which may not speak to their topic or argument. They achieve concise well written pieces by deleting all superfluous observations and wording.

In our information filled and seeking society, it literally pays to write well. Writing ability plays a significant role in how well a person sells their ideas, products and often themselves. Every cover letter and resume crafted by a job seeker or brochure written by a business person seeking clients influences their success. The three C’s, cater to the audience, pursue clarity in presentation, and be concise, when applied during the writing process, produce solid and clearly written pieces which in turn can help any writer achieve success.

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