Friday, June 06, 2014

How to Make Difficult Concepts Easy to Understand

When writing articles, you may be called upon to explain complex ideas in simple forms that an everyday reader can understand. Whether you are crafting a "how-to" article or discussing a political theme, there are many techniques for helping your reader understand easily.

Spend time brainstorming your idea. If you are writing a how-to article, for instance, make a list of all the steps. Write down any questions a beginner might have on the subject. If it helps you, create an outline of what information you would like to cover.

Enlist the help of a trustworthy friend during the writing process, preferably one that knows very little about the topic in question. Sit down with him or her and explain the concept from your article orally. Often, talking through a difficult subject can help you discover what needs to be cleared up. Ask your friend where the stumbling points were in your explanation. If possible, have the same friend proofread your finished article.

If appropriate, use bullet points or a numbered list. Not only will these formatting choices create more white space on the page and make it more readable on the screen, it will give your reader a specific order of operations for the project. They can proceed through it step by step, with less likelihood of getting confused.

Explaining difficult social or political subjects can be even more difficult. The factors involved are generally complex. Even if you have a distinct opinion, make sure to research the opposing viewpoints and give them fair consideration. This is not intended to make you change your mind, but to help you understand the opposite side of the debate. If your reader has probably heard information that contradicts your opinion, you should be aware of it and address the inconsistencies.

When addressing social concerns, it can be helpful to give the situation a "face" or an anecdote. Find a real-life story to illustrate your points. Examples can do wonders to clarify tricky subject matter. Let your reader emotionally connect to the subject and show them why it is a topic that should matter to everyone.

Use simple, strong language. Cut out unnecessary words. Make sure that your sentence structure is easy to understand. Too often, writers reach for a thesaurus to make their writing more impressive. When you are working with a difficult concept, don't overcomplicate your writing.

Once your article is complete, let it sit for a day or two. Then you can reread it with a fresh mind. Not only does this strategy help eliminate typos and grammatical mistakes; it can make you more aware of places that need extra explanations.

No matter what kind of article you are writing, take your time and listen to feedback. Practice makes perfect, and explaining difficult concepts is no exception to this rule.

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