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How Do We Define Good Writing?

What exactly is good writing?

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writing on a page with a hand holding a pen as if the person is beginning to write something

If you ask several people what they define good writing to be, you will probably end up with several different answers because the question is subjective, one person's answer is going to be different than the next. In fact, it is valid to assert that each person's answer will not only be different due to the subjective nature of the question, but also can be due to factors such as the type and caliber of writing that one has been exposed to. In terms of how I personally define good writing, I define it as a work or piece that is well thought out, contains original ideas, and is written for a specific audience.

In order to explain why I define good writing in this way, it is important to understand why I included the elements I did, in my definition. I feel that good writing needs to be well thought out and should contain original ideas because good writing, I believe, should make people think, it should provide readers with a different perspective than their own, on the topic it is discussing. Ultimately, it should leave them feeling as if they have a richer understanding of the topic and as if it has impacted them in some way.

In addition, in order to be considered good writing, the piece must be written for a specific audience. This is because by having a specific audience in mind when you write, it can help you to tailor your piece to said audience. This can be accomplished by using certain language and presenting the information in a particular genre, as well as by utilizing other methods. Further, tailoring writing to a specific audience helps classify the writing as being good because it allows the writer to develop an objective for the piece, and for that objective to be accomplished, which, in my opinion, is what good writing does.

Yet while this definition certainly encompasses what I generally consider good writing to constitute, there are other factors that play into the shaping of this definition as well. As the piece "The Lead" illustrates, good writing is also made up of a strong opening. If the opening paragraph or even sentence isn't all that compelling, the reader is likely to lose interest, thus not giving the reader the opportunity to classify it as being good writing. Moreover, in the piece "The Ending" the author explains that in order for writing to be considered "good", it must have as strong an ending as it did a beginning. Therefore, it can be said that a good piece of writing must contain a compelling ending that leaves the audience wanting more, and that leaves them with a thirst for more knowledge on the topic. In essence, even though this is how I personally define good writing, the definition of good writing is subjective, and thus can vary from person to person. In fact, there is no concrete definition for "good writing", instead the definition is fluid.

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This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.
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