What is good writing?


The Good Writing Guide (n.d., Para 3) maintains that good writing involves being able “…to produce a clear, grammatical, logical argument to answer a question in an exercise, an essay or an exam.” This is extremely difficult to define with any precision but there are key factors that are evident within that which is considered to be good writing:

  • Clear explanations of the ideas which are presented
  • Ideas and concepts linked together to form a logical progression - the reader must be able to follow where the writing is taking them
  • It must be correct and error free in terms of spelling, punctuation and grammar.

This guide is designed to provide direction in developing the skills necessary to ensure that your writing meets due standards throughout by explaining the processes involved in essay writing.

Writing – An Important Skill

The importance of being able to communicate clearly through the written page cannot be understated. Any written material, as stated above, must be clear in its presentation of ideas in order that there is a coherence of thought in explaining ideas, concepts and arguments. It is through writing that students are able to demonstrate their understanding of ideas and the world around them whilst enhancing their cognitive skills and abilities to organise their ideas and thoughts about issues with which they are concerned (Robb, 2004 in Dorfman and Capppelli, 2009). Writing is a demonstration of two aspects of learning; it is an illustration that you have understood the content of a particular concept, idea or unit of work and it is an expression of your ability to articulate that understanding in a way which is comprehensible to other people (Urquhart and McIver, 2005). Good writing shows an ability to effectively use ideas which have been gleaned from books, journals, articles and other informational media to form personal ideas which are able to be expressed in a manner which others are able to readily grasp.

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