Wednesday, March 4, 2009

What is "good writing"

I came across this article the other day on the issue of Good Writing.

While I do believe that most people skim read, is this a good thing or a bad thing? Should we really be teaching people to write for skim readers?

In my opinion, good writing in contextual. Good writing for the web, is not necessarily good writing for a business journal, which is not necessarily good writing for a research report in one of the humanities fields.

In my personal experience, the Discourse that I use, whether spoken or written, depends on the context. What I used as documentation in my coding days would not pass as good business writing. Good business writing would not cut it in my linguistics classes, and the analytical writing from my linguistics classes does not fit with writing for instruction and training in my Education classes.

I think that the one thing that writing manuals teach us (you know APA, MLA, Chicago, etc.) is that it really depends who your audience is that determines if the writing is good or not.
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