Finding your best writing style is the key to writing good quality papers for university courses.
Albert Einstein said, “If you can’t use simple words, then you don’t know what you are talking about.”
Back at University, when I was studying Biology and Physics, I wrote for a newspaper called The Ego Strange.
Every week I would get hundreds of letters from readers. Some of them were Literature experts. They said my sentences were too short, my structure too simple, and that I had “no style”.
So I started thinking and thinking about writing. It seems to me that everything you write, everything you say, has two things. First is substance, second is style.
Substance is what you want to say. Style is how you say it.
You can have a very poetic style, a sophisticated style, a philosophical style, an analytical style. But no matter what you do, you have a style, whether you want to have one or not.
Poetry is hard to do, and very hard to do well. The more sophisticated you want to be, the harder it is to do well, and it's easy to be misunderstood.
Too many short sentences makes people dizzy, too many long sentences and people get lost.
Just because one spoon of pepper is good for your cooking, this does not mean one kilogram of pepper will make your cooking even better.
Style is what makes you who you are. There may be a book you don't like, but you may enjoy the style. There may be a movie that is quite simple, but you still enjoy the style.
There is a balance you need to find in your writing. You don't want to be too light, because that lacks substance. But if you have too much substance, your writing is like a heavy meal, too hard to chew and digest.
One of the most amazing sentences ever was written 500 years ago by Shakespeare, yet it is also one of his simplest.
“To be or not to be, that is the question.”
Tubby or not tubby? Fat is the question!
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