What makes writing good? (2023)

Learn how to dissect & emulate good writing

By studying good writing you can improve your writing skills. The articles below dissect 26 brilliant writing examples to demonstrate what makes writing good …

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Copywriting examples

Email copywriting examples

Persuasive writing examples

Personal writing examples

Science writing examples

Blog writing examples

Creative writing examples

Highly recommended articles are marked ***

Copywriting examples

1. David Ogilvy’s famous Rolls Royce Advert ***

What makes Ogilvy’s advert so persuasive? And why do copywriters still study his advert decades after it was first published?

Read this dissection to learn 6 copywriting tricks from a legendary copywriter …

2. Apple’s seductive sales copy ***

Apple seduces with great design, and it knows how to create a big buzz for each product launch. But its sales copy plays a key role, too.

(Video) How to write descriptively - Nalo Hopkinson

Discover how Apple copywriters sell with words …

3. A wine catalog

Does the idea of having to sell make you want to run away?

This dissection of copy in a wine catalog shows how to sell without being pushy. Discover 5 lovable selling techniques …

What makes writing good? (4)

Improve your writing skills

Learn how to write better and find your voice. Get free writing tips in your inbox.

Email copywriting examples

4. A masterclass in sales emails by AppSumo ***

AppSumo sends emails with discounted offers on tools and apps to “help you succeed in business and life.” They have more than 750,000 email subscribers.

Discover why AppSumo’s emails are so persuasive …

5. Steal-worthy blog newsletters ***

Want to write emails so irresistible people can’t help themselves but click to read your blog posts? This article dissects a series of blog newsletters and explains why they made people eager to click to read more.

Discover 7 steal-worthy email formulas …

Persuasive writing examples

6. This #1 NYT bestseller shows you how to ‘sell’ ideas ***

In 2005 Dan Harris had a panic attack live on TV, and he started a reluctant journey to practice meditation to find peace in his mind. His book 10% Happier encourages skeptics to try a meditation practice, too.

Discover how to sell your ideas to a skeptical audience …

7. An example of how to make your voice heard

Ibram X. Kendi’s book How to Be an Antiracist shows us how to engage readers with personal stories and how to connect those stories to the bigger picture.

Learn how to make your voice heard …

Personal writing examples

8. A delightful example of personal writing

The book Home Cooking by Laurie Colwin is partly a how-to book with recipes and cooking advice. But what makes the book delightful are the personal stories.

(Video) The Write Question #6: What makes good writing?

When writers show up with their stories, readers feel closer to them, it’s almost as if they become friends with the author.

9. An example of wholehearted writing

Using examples from Brené Brown’s book Daring Greatly, this article shows how to be real in our writing and make stronger connections with readers.

Discover how to write like a wholehearted human …

10. A mix of personal and professional writing (perfect for bloggers, too)

In his memoir On the Move, Oliver Sacks writes about his professional life and shares personal stories, too—about his motorcycle vacations, drug-taking in his younger years, and finding the love of his life in his seventies.

Get 3 tips on how to write about yourself without undermining your professional image …

11. An example of editing a memoir

This article shows you how Mary Karr edits a sentence from a rough draft of her memoir Lit, and how she turns it into dramatic movie.

Discover how a bestselling author edits her own writing …

12. An example of a life story

This article shares 4 lessons on writing your life story with examples from Olivia Laing’s book The Lonely City: Adventures in the Art of Being Alone—an extraordinary account of her loneliness when she moved from the UK to New York.

Discover how to write your own life story …

13. A personal story in miniature

Stories in miniature are tiny stories woven into non-fiction writing, like blog posts or books. Such stories add personality and pizzazz to your writing.

This article shows how to filter your information to keep your story concise and interesting …

Science writing examples

14. What It’s Like to Be a Bird ***

This article dissects one paragraph from David Allen Sibley’s book What It’s Like to Be a Bird. His writing is engaging and simple but not simplistic.

Discover how to engage and educate your readers with delightful simplicity …

15. A science book about volcanoes

A book about volcanic apocalypses and lethal oceans is not the kind of book I’d normally choose. But I decided to read the book The Ends of the World by science writer Peter Brannen because I was curious whether (and how) he could keep me intrigued.

(Video) What Makes Writing So Hard?

Discover how to write a gripping adventure about anything …

16. A bestselling science book about trees

Enthusiasm breathes life into our writing, and it makes readers curious to learn more. In her book Finding the Mother Tree, Suzanne Simard shows us how to write with such enthusiasm.

Discover how to infuse your writing with enthusiasm …

17. A book about fish ***

Did you know that whales can communicate with each other across more than 1,200 miles?

Bill Francois is a physicist who studied the marine world. This blog post dissects a paragraph from his book The Eloquence of the Sardine. Not only will you learn about the whales’ telephone network, you’ll also learn how to explain anything with flair.

18. Lessons in sensory biology

Ed Yong’s book An Immense World lets readers experience the sensory world of animals.

This book shows us how to use concrete language to invite readers into a different world …

19. A book about mosses

Robin Wall Kimmerer is a professor of environmental and forest biology who mesmerizes readers with stories about the natural world.

In my favorite passages of her book Gathering Mosses, she explains how she relates to mosses, creating a sense of connection for readers, too. Kimmerer shows us how to write with both enthusiasm and authority …

Blog writing examples

20. An intimate blog with Nick Cave ***

In September 2018, singer and songwriter Nick Cave started his blog The Red Hand Files to answer questions from fans.

Discover how Cave turns his blog into an intimate conversation …

21. A teeny-tiny idea turned into a solid blog post

Have you ever spotted a teeny-tiny idea and then wondered how you can turn it into a solid blog post? This article shows a 5-step process for turning a few words into a solid article that readers enjoy and share.

Discover how to turn 31 measly words into a solid blog post …

(Video) My Top 12 Writing Tips! | Advice That Changed How I Write

22. An example of a narrative essay

The phrase narrative essay may conjure up nightmarish feelings of awfully boring schoolwork. But essays don’t have to be dull.

Discover how to write a narrative essay to engage business readers …

Creative writing examples

23. Write like Hemingway

In his book The Old Man and the Sea, Hemingway shares profound wisdom in simple language. How does Hemingway write so simply? And what can business writers learn from him?

Discover how to write like Hemingway (even in business) …

24. An example of precise writing ***

Writing that’s too brief is soulless. It lacks the power to engage and inspire. In contrast, precise writing is sharp, vivid, and full of zest. Even if your text becomes longer, precision captivates readers.

Learn how to write precisely and pierce through reader’s wariness …

25. Chandler’s writing style

Raymond Chandler is known as a great stylist. But what makes his writing style so good?

Discover the 3 magic ingredients to a great writing style (so you can improve your writing, too) …

26. An example of vivid language

This article explains how Chip and Dan Heath mix research results with vivid stories to make their message clear and memorable.

Learn how to use vivid language so readers remember your message …

What makes writing good? (28)

Improve your writing skills

Learn how to write better and find your voice. Get free writing tips in your inbox.

You may also like …

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  • 3 examples of simple writing

    Discover how to simplify your writing.

    Simple writing examples »

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What makes writing good or effective? ›

Good writing is about raising important issues, making persuasive arguments, and marshalling evidence. The key to expressing your ideas effectively is sound organization. Follow a logical design and build your paper with clear sentences and coherent paragraphs.

What are the 6 characteristics of good writing? ›

Educational research states that all good writing includes six key ingredients: ideas, organization, voice, word choice, sentence fluency, and conventions—the Six Traits of Writing.

What are the 7 traits of good writing? ›

These standards focus on revising, editing, and publishing work using technology- all seven of the traits: ideas, organization, word choice, voice, sentence fluency, conventions, and presentation speak to these standards.

What are the 4 principles of a good writing? ›

The 4 Principles of Effective Writing
  • Make It Short. Of the 4 principles of good writing, this one is the most important. ...
  • Make It Simple. Simple is very similar to short, but not the same thing. ...
  • Make It Direct. ...
  • Make It About the Reader.

What are the 5 C's of good writing? ›

To introduce you to this world of academic writing, in this chapter I suggest that you should focus on five hierarchical characteristics of good writing, or the “5 Cs” of good academic writing, which include Clarity, Cogency, Conventionality, Completeness, and Concision.

What is the 5 traits of good writing? ›

However, there are certain qualities that most examples of good writing share. The following is a brief description of five qualities of good writing: focus, development, unity, coherence, and correctness.

What are the four C's of strong writing? ›

Writing requires attention and practice to keep skills sharp. It's not enough just to put words on the page; indeed, you have to think about whether those words on the page add up to something that is clear, concise, complete, and correct.

What are the 7 rules of writing? ›

Since then, I've learned a few tricks that work for me and may help you too, though everyone's writing experience is different.
The Seven Rules of Writing
  • Learn How to Write. ...
  • Be a Critical Reader. ...
  • Visit Cafes. ...
  • Beware the Naysayers. ...
  • Finish Your Piece and Put It Away. ...
  • Have Patience. ...
  • Follow Your Heart.
Aug 8, 2018

What are the 3 elements of effective writing? ›

  • The Elements of Effective Writing: Thesis, Main Ideas, Supporting Details, and. ...
  • Putting It All Together.
  • The elements of effective writing fit together in a way that clearly communicates ideas. The following diagram illustrates how they are usually put together.
  • Adapted from McWhorter, Kathleen T. ...
  • Thesis.

What are the 10 features of writing? ›

It is also well organised and planned.
  • Complexity. Written language is relatively more complex than spoken language. ...
  • Formality. Academic writing is relatively formal. ...
  • Precision. In academic writing, facts and figures are given precisely. ...
  • Objectivity. ...
  • Explicitness. ...
  • Accuracy. ...
  • Hedging. ...
  • Responsibility.

What are the 5 Ps in writing? ›

  • Top Tips for writing well: The 5 'Ps'
  • Purposeful.
  • Powerful.
  • Punchy.
  • Personal.
  • changed since you started watching it? ' Back to purposeful:

What are the 4 A's in writing? ›

The "four A's" of sales letters are attention, appeal, application, and action. First, get the reader's attention.

What are the A's of effective writing? ›

ans - Accurate and Affirmative

What are the four pillars of writing? ›

Along this quest, I've learned that writing across realities comes down to 4 different pillars:
  • Knowing your audience (your genre)
  • Having a purpose (your message)
  • Adjusting to style (your voice)
  • Repeating the process (your abundance)
Dec 31, 2017

What is the golden rule of writing? ›

Always write so that everything is clearly understood.

Use simple words. Use the first word that comes to your mind as that will often work best. Don't look up fancy words in thesaurus as you go – write naturally. The only way you can get a better understanding of language is through your reading habit.

What is the golden rule of actual writing? ›

What is my Golden Rule of Writing? It's this: Intend every word you write. Be aware of what your words mean, and make sure that the meaning aligns with what you are trying to say.

What is the most important element of good writing? ›

Good Writing Is Clear and Concise

One of the most important elements of good writing is clarity. To communicate effectively, it's important that your text is easy to understand. This means that you should use simple and straightforward language, without unnecessary flourishes or ambiguities.

What are the 5 keys of effective writing? ›

Five Key Rules for Effective Writing
  • Develop one good idea.
  • Ensure that the idea is useful.
  • Express the idea clearly.
  • Provide supporting details.
  • Speak with an authentic voice.
Jan 21, 2004

What are the 7 C's of writing? ›

The seven C's are: clarity, correctness, conciseness, courtesy, concreteness, consideration and completeness.


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