The writer’s tool kit: Three questions to help build a bridge to your audience

Good writing is all about clearly communicating ideas. A big part of being able to communicate clearly is understanding your readers and therefore being able to connect with them.

Writing with an audience in mind not only helps clarify what is being said but also determines how it is said. The following questions can help you focus your message and better define important elements of your writing, such as tone (the style or manner of expression) and word choice (formal or informal, technical or generalized).

Taking the time to answer these questions will ultimately result in establishing credibility with your readers. I’ve always liked this metaphor for the meaningful exchange of ideas: “truth” is like the island of Manhattan in that it can be reached by many bridges of different design. Building and traversing those bridges demonstrates not only that you have something genuine to say but also that you are engaging with readers in good faith. For their part, readers will be more likely to respond in kind.

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