Unc Writing Center

Andrew Miller

ENGL 1301

Dr. Sidey


Effective Writing

Essay of Effective Writing

The purpose of this paper is to let you know what effective writing is, and hopefully help you achieve a better form of writing when you are writing your own work. Through extensive research I am able to tell you how to form an effective paper. I will be writing for those who are having trouble forming a paper that keeps their audience entertained and reading on. The UNC writing center will tell you that good and effective writing consists of multiple different facets. (What is good Writing) This is something I must agree with. Writing is a response, writing IS both Subjective, and Objective, writing IS making a decision, and most importantly, writing is a process. Throughout the course of this paper we will go into detail about what we can do to make sure that we are writing effectively, and achieving the desired goal, and to do this we will discuss the writing purpose, audience, the argument, and other factors that need to be considered to write a strong willed, and effective piece.


First, you must decide what you are going to write about, what is your purpose for writing? An article on Bizfluent says that the purpose of any writing is “to send a message with the intention of the recipient understanding the message and responding to it.” (The Importance of Effective Written Communication) This is 100% true, however, you have to be detailed in figuring out how you are going to achieve that purpose.Are you writing to entertain a group or people, or are you writing to a group of doctors about your latest medical breakthrough? It is easy to assume that the tone of the paper is going to be different for the two purposes. To achieve an effective piece of writing you must have a clearly defined purpose. You must know what point you are trying to get across, and you must then spend the rest of the paper fighting to make sure that the purpose is being fulfilled throughout the course of the paper, so you don’t lose your audience.Finally, the team at TECH WHIRL says that you have to establish a list of criteria to write your essay on. (Evaluating Writing Samples) While this isn’t the only method that I would use in determining what to write about, I think writing your ideas down in a consistent format would help a lot.


The Writing Center at UNC Chapel Hill says that “Keeping your audience in mind while you write can help you make good decisions about what material to include, how to organize your ideas, and how best to support your argument.” (Audience) I agree with this statement. After you’ve developed your purpose, you then must decide who your audience will be. This will likely be easily identified once your purpose is constructed. Sticking with the example I used before, if you are writing to a group of experienced medical professionals; you likely wouldn’t need to explain the definition of cancer to them. You simply need to give a little bit of background information about your research, and then you can dive right into your breakthrough. If you spend too much time giving definitions that the reader already knows, or giving to much background, you will likely lose your audience before you even get to reveal your achievement.


Now, you’ve got your audience, you’ve got your purpose, now comes the fun part. According to the UNC Writing Center at Chapel Hill “in academic writing, an argument is usually a main idea, often called a “claim” or “thesis statement,” backed up with evidence that supports the idea.” (Argument) Now you get to argue your point. You get to talk about why this is important to YOU, and why it should be important to them too. This is normally most of the paper. This is where you present supporting evidence, and any other relevant information that will support your claim. It is very important that you are clear and concise when you are arguing your point. You have to be careful not get off track when you are arguing. If you get off track your readers will lose sight of your intended purpose, and your writing is no longer effective. Your argument should be able to be seen throughout your entire paper. It should be found in your introduction when you give your thesis statement, and then at the beginning of each paragraph as you introduce what piece you are arguing next through your topic sentence.


Okay, so, you’ve got a good purpose, you’ve identified your audience correctly, and you have a well-developed argument, complete with all your supporting evidence, and you are well on your way to having a well-developed, and effective piece of writing, but what good is that going to do you if your writing is all over the place? In order to be effective, you must be organized. If you are simply writing everything down in no particular order, you aren’t going to reach your audience, because nobody is going to try to sift through your paper to find your purpose. A technique that I have found to be helpful when preparing to write is drawing a mind map. Civicus.org agrees with me on this front. They say that “Mind maps help you to priorities, organize and structure your writing. After you have drawn a mind map, your draft writing should come quickly and smoothly.” (Writing Effectively and Powerfully) This will help you organize your paper because, If it is not organized, then all of the time and effort you have spent developing this great piece of work has been wasted. If you are well versed in organizing your thoughts on paper then you will find that writing your paper in the way that YOU want to, but still get your point across becomes much easier. A big thing about organizing your paper well is the mentality that you have about writing in the first place, you may not like writing, but you need to realize that this is something that you will always have to do, so you need to change your mentality. An article published by the NCO Journal states that you should “Pull all your training, every last bit of it, together to best see where and how you can approach the task at hand.” (The Importance of Effective Writing in the NCO Corps) This is what keeps soldiers motivated, you have to find what style motivates you, and use that to write.One last point on organization, John Trimble, who is the writer of “Writing with Style” says something that I think is rather important to note. That is to anticipate your readers response. (Writing with Style) You should be thinking about how your reader will react on every piece of your paper, so you can properly organize it to ensure that you get a good reaction.

Grammar and Style

Grammar and style go right along with organization. However, in this part of your writing development, you are able to put your own spin on things. When you are writing word choice, tone, and your style are all instrumental in keeping your readers engaged. This is why I have placed “headers” before each paragraph. I am doing this so that some college student who is reading my paper trying to figure out how he can write his own paper at 3:00 AM can simply scan through my paper, and I still get my point across. All this confused college kid would need to do is read my first paragraph, and then see my headers, and he would have an idea of what he needs to do to write a good paper. He could, of course go through and read the paragraph if he finds himself struggling in a specific area. This is how I choose to put my own style on my writing. The way someone else does it could be totally different. Someone else may use color or use pictures. This is completely subjective to the writer. However, an article on Hamilton University’s website says that you should “write what you mean”. This is very true, you shouldn’t write what you think your readers want to hear, you should write what you mean in a way that will help the readers understand your point. (Habits of Effective Writers)

Thought Provoking or Emotional

This is really going to depend on the purpose of your writing, but I think it is important to mention. If you are writing to persuade someone to do something, or if you are writing about something that is important to a lot of people you need to make sure that you are using that to your advantage. For example, if I am trying to get my medical breakthrough point across to a team of oncologists, I probably wouldn’t get anywhere if I wrote about a cancer patient, because they see patients in the same condition every day.I would instead write something along the lines of this “Wouldn’t it be nice to be able to tell your patient who has been diagnosed with stage 4 metastatic lung cancer that there is hope that he will survive another 20 years, instead of just six months? That’s what I can give you.” I would start a paper like this because it would peak their interest and make them want to know what they can do to help prolong their patient’s life. Again though, this type of writing is going to widely depend on your audience. I would point out though that Janet Emig, who is the author of “Writing as a Mode of Learning” states that “Writing is stark, barren, even naked as a medium; talking is rich, luxuriant, inherently redundant.” (Writing as a Mode of Learning) This is important to note because this goes into your readers perception. If you don’t have anything that sparks the readers attention your paper may come across as bland, and pointless, so adding emotion to your paper may help avoid this.


As you can see there are many different aspects that go into effective writing. Every piece has its part, and every part, is a must so you can effectively get your point across without losing your audience or making them dig for an answer that you forgot to give because it is so unorganized. After you start developing your writing I suggest using this as a check list and ensuring that you’ve succeeded in each of these areas, and if you have, you are sure to have a good piece of writing. I encourage you to review these steps during your writing process, doing so will ensure that you produce an effective writing piece every time.


Bradshaw, Crystal. “The Importance of Effective Writing in the NCO Corps.” Army University Press, 22 Sept. 2017, www.armyupress.army.mil/Journals/NCO-Journal/Archives/2017/September/Effective-Writing/.

Emig, Janet. “Writing as a Mode of Learning.” College Composition and Communication, 1977.

Hunt, Karen. “Writing Effectively and Powerfully .” Civicus , www.civicus.org/documents/toolkits/Writing%20Effectively.pdf.

Papa, Nicole. “The Importance of Effective Written Communication.” Bizfluent, 21 Nov. 2017, bizfluent.com/about-6690331-importance-effective-written-communication.html.

Rabil , Richard. “Evaluating Writing Samples: Strategies for TechComm Hiring Managers.” TechWhirl, 13 July 2017, techwhirl.com/evaluating-writing-samples-strategies-techcomm-hiring-managers/.

Trimble, John R. Writing with Style: Conversations on the Art of Writing. Prentice Hall, 2011.

The Writing, Center. “Argument .” Writingcenter.unc.edu, writingcenter.unc.edu/tips-and-tools/argument/.

The Writing, Center. “Audience .” Writingcenter.unc.edu, writingcenter.unc.edu/tips-and-tools/audience/.

The Writing, Center. “What Is Good Writing?” The Writing Center, writingcenter.unc.edu/faculty-resources/tips-on-teaching-writing/what-is-good-writing/.

“Writing Resources - Habits of Effective Writers.” Hamilton College, www.hamilton.edu/academics/centers/writing/writing-resources/habits-of-effective-writers.