The qualities of good writing
The qualities of good writing are those elements that compose a good paper with certain logic idea, clear organization and excellent handle of words and grammar. The lifelong journalist nonfiction writer, William Zinsser once saidthat the quality of good writing was to strip every sentence to its cleanest components. Those words or sentences that served no functions and those verbs or those adverbs that actually carried the same meaning which may made the reader confused should be taken out as they weakened the strength of a message. (1980) (1) .

Qualities ofgood writing
1.focus on the main idea
2.a logical organization

Other qualitiesof good writing


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Even before I set out to talk about this topic, I believe by instinct and intuition that a variety of judgments about what is “good” has already formed in individuals’ mind. Ruth Culham puts forward that writing can be treated in terms of traits, which are: ideas, word choice, sentence fluency, voice, organization and convention. While Carl Anderson suggests that meaning is at the center of everything and that there are four other things we can look for, in addition to meaning, when we assess a paper: structure, details, voice and conventions .(2)But a more important and prevalent opinion that anyone who wanted to produce a good written paper should endeavor to figure out what is the point he is arguing here, before one allows himself to applying the more showy qualities, to be direct, simple, brief, vigorous, and lucid.”was proposed by H. W Fowler.

. W Fowler/The King’s English further sys:

  • Prefer the familiar word to the far-fetched.
  • Prefer the concrete word to the abstract.
  • Prefer the single word to the circumlocution.
  • Prefer the short word to the long.

Prefer the Saxon word to the Romance.


Let us isolate these qualities and describe them briefly. Good writing should basically express a clear but focus point, should be logically organized and should be grammatically, syntactically correct.

Focus on the main idea
In a general sense, writing should have focus that makes the point of your thesis clear and outstanding. Specifically, an essay should have a single clear central noticing the reader what you are going to talk about. Further, each paragraph needs to have a clear main point or topic sentence. For example, if a writer plans to write the phenomenon of scofflaw, he is supposed to have a thesis statement like “the scofflaw spirit is dangerously infectious and something must be done to check its spread” which immediately informs his reader what the writer is going to talk about in the following development of the essay.

To make a point clear means to convey the writer’s main idea through out the essay. In other words, it is an attempt to help readers to grasp the idea that the writer proposes Look at the following example(3)
Chores! Chores! Chores! Chores are boring! Scrubbing toilets, cleaning sinks, and washing bathtubs take up a lot of my time and are not fun at all. Toilets! When you’re scrubbing toilets make sure they are not stinky. I’ve scrubbed one before and I was lucky it didn’t stink. I think toilets are one of the hardest things to scrub in the bathroom because it is hard to get up around the rim. Sinks are one of the easiest things to clean in the bathroom because they have no rims and they are small. I have cleaned one before and it was pretty easy. Bathtubs, ever washed one? They are big, they are deep, and it is hard to get up around the sides. The bathtub is the hardest, I think, to wash in the bathroom. All chores are boring, especially making my bed. Cleaning my room is OK because I have to organize, and I like organizing. Dusting is the worst: dust, set down, pick up, dust, set down. There are so many things to dust, and it’s no fun. Chores aren’t the worst but they’re definitely not the best!

It is not the best writing I have seen but it is pretty good. The author did a solid job of getting her point across about her struggles with the challenges of household chores.

A logical organization.

A piece of good writing should be tightly structured that each paragraph should be related to the main point. It should contain logical or associative connections and translations which clearly express the relationship of ideas described. So the logical organization is essentially a form or structure to put your ideas together to make it sense and easy to follow to your readers. Here are some tips from

  • I have a beginning, a middle and an end.
  • I group similar ideas/things together.
  • I group similar sentences together to form paragraph(s).
  • I stick to my message without going off track.
For one hand, writing should stick to the conventions of Standard English which includes proper punctuation, spelling and grammar. For the other hand, the word choices contribute to good writing greatly. Words should be carefully picked that they could paint a picture in readers’ mind, using the right words to express the right things. Here are some tips from 4

 I try not to use the same word(s) over and over.
 I try to use descriptive words and/or phrases.
 I checked each sentence to make sure it made sense. All sentences should tell two things - WHO or WHAT you talking about, and WHAT ABOUT IT.

Other qualities of good writing

There are some other qualities that contribute to a good paper. A significant one is “voice” which means the “sound” of the writer. It represents the writer’s style and personality showing how the writer feels through words. Also the idea of the paper and the technique of writing applied to the development of it are considered to be indispensible parts of a good writing.


There is no exact formula to tell what is good writing. However, in essence, the qualities of good writing basically are clear idea with the writer’s own voice, logical structure with coherent paragraphs and standard English with relative error-free.
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