When you search, take your phone or whip a laptop to search Google or other search engines about the rules of writing, you’ll find a bunch of rules. Some rules you encounter will be very specific, like whether or not to adopt a comma with a conjunction, and others will be broad. However, when it comes to excellent writing, not all rules are created equal, and synonymously balanced. In reality, some rules are more like guidelines.
Here are five parts of good writing guidance that you can and should ignore once in a while.
The 5 Writing Guidelines
Use the active voice
It is believed that most people, on the search of help, would have taken a moment’s research on how to write well, and satisfactorily, you’ve learned that you should use the active voice instead of the passive voice. It’s strong advice if you incline to it as a guideline. In general, the active voice is more explicit and concise. It’s the best option for most sentences. But there are some things that the passive voice can do sufficiently.
For instance, sometimes it just isn’t vital or beneficial to specify who performed the action you’re addressing. Here’s an example where the passive voice is the better choice: This school was built in the 18th century. Rewriting the sentence in the active voice would not only need you to dig up the information you may not have, but it would also embroil the sentence with useless detail. A group of foreigners built this school in the 18th century. Does it really matter who built the school? Probably not, unless someone has specifically asked for that information.
Adverbs get a horrible stroke because it’s so easy for writers, editors, students, etc., to rely on them to write out a sentence full of boring or dull verbs. “Don’t write confessed completely,” goes the specific advice. “Write disclosed instead.” It’s true that disclosed is more precise and interesting than confessed completely.
But in some conditions, a well-chosen adverb is the obvious, most concise way to add attribute and dimension to a description. Imagine this scene: I started to call out to him, but he gestured for silence. Now read this one: I started to call him, but he frantically gestured for silence. Different, right? A slight denial of adverbs removes a valuable tool from a writer’s toolkits.
Avoid exclamation points
When you need to put together an important point in an essay or you’re trying to add emotion to your story, you can’t just rely on punctuation marks. Don’t let it look like you are only laughing at your own works by using exclamation in all paragraphs.
Presently, most of our distant, and private communication takes the form of emails, texts, chats, feeds, and instant messages, exclamation points have emerged as an essential tool for communicating. If you want to risk sounding bright, go along with writing Congratulations on your new appointment. How amazing.
Don’t write in sentence fragments
We are all taught the use of English, words, and if you are the kind of person that is advised that a sentence fragment is a grammatical error, you’re not alone. In fact, sentence fragments are an important procedure for creating voice and tone in your writing.
Not convinced? There are a few of them scattered throughout this article. There’s one in this very paragraph, in reality! They help lend an informal, peaceful tone to a piece of writing. The fun and trick are to avoid going overboard. Too many fragments will make your writing rough and disorganized.
A paragraph requires at least three sentences
There are a lot of variations of this “rule” floating around every corner. In school, many of us discovered that a paragraph requires a topic sentence, several supporting sentences, and a concluding sentence. When you’re first discovering to establish your thoughts on paper, this formal structure gives you a strived-and-genuine template to follow. But as your writing skills unfold, staying shackled to this rule will limit your potential to write effectively.
Especially when you’re writing on the internet, small paragraphs of just one or two sentences are often the nicest way to help your reader comprehend your point quickly.
Understand, to be a good and sufficient writer, you need to learn the rules, and guidelines of writing. But to be a great writer, you also need to learn when to break those rules and turn them into reality. The most important thing to remember is that writing is about transmitting, disseminating, and communicating. When a rule gets in the way of what you need to say, sometimes the best decision is to kick that rule out of the context!
For more reasonable and helpful guides, resources, and support, join our community with the ultimate goal to make you succeed.
We hope this article helped you as a writer, poet, novelist, blogger, freelance writer, student, instructor, and an upcoming columnist. You may also want to see our guide on
how to write an introduction, how to defeat writer’s block.
We've worked hard to keep these resources readable. If you enjoyed reading our articles, please join our mailing list and we’ll send you our news and the latest from Exceptionalways.