Jim, this post is about readability, not article word count. No matter how many words your article contains, it will be easier to read if you format it with the tips here. External links are the currency of SEO. So my advice is as follows; if you want to share the love, use follow. So if there is a new site you really like, put a do follow link which is really a link without the no-follow attribute. But linking to something like Wikipedia or NYTimes etc.
Links have value, and if you truly appreciate a site and want to show your appreciation, link to them without the no-follow attribute. I truly believe in this because I think our effort goes in vain if we fail to make readers actually read the message we have for them by not following some of the writing techniques.
Actually reading how clear your post is I know I need to get back and scale my stuff back a little. I can really see the benefits of applying these techniques and after all if people want less then we have to give them less I guess?! Thankyou for the value and sharing this it has pumped me up to kick my own ass and get some new tricks put into place.
Most of my blog posts are between 2,, words. Would you disagree?
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Love this article and thanks for sharing. The biggest take away from this for me is that we need to accept people who scan. But again, well said and thanks for sharing once again! Great post Pamela, What I like about your post is you make it easy to read with bigger print, bold letters, and shorter paragraphs. I think that is a great key to organizing my content.
I am learning so much as I read each of your articles. I will be reading regularly. Thank You for nice and obviously well written post for advising us well written post lol. Agree with you specially in bullet points which make everything clear. Sad but true.
An Essay on the Principle of Population
This is a nice article about content writing tips and I agree with most of the points. I understand it will be useful for readers but how about SEO? The main idea of this article is to encourage you to format your text to engage readers, and captions get read.
Hi Pamela, These are very actionable tips. I will try in my next post. Thanks for sharing!! Deep captions are quite new to me will try soon. I am a big fan of lists. The reader can quickly scan and zero in on what they think is important. If nothing stands out, and it is a giant wall of text, they are going to hit the back button. Great post Pamela! Not only was the post full of great advice to increase user engagement, but I also I loved the way that your post illustrated each point with examples that were a part of the post itself — like the one on keeping some paragraphs to a single sentence.
I am trying to read user engagement by putting in occassional questions to the reader specially after a new heading. Do you think that is an effective technique in driving engagement? Glad you liked the post! Hey Pamela İ loved the way you think about blogging and its really good way.
İt was short and very usefull. I have really big problem about engagement. I believe will change all my style. I have started a new blog, but my main concern is about how to grow readership and add new audience to my blog. I am sure the ideas and strategies posted by you will help me in achieving my goals. Point no. Check your formatting to turn scanners into readers seems interesting and I have never tried this before. Growing readership on a new blog is not a joke, its something someone needed to take serious even before creating the blog.
I started my blog and seriously searching for a way to get readership when I just found this blog post. Thanks, it will surely help me. Thanks for the refreshingly concise and to-the-point article. I try to make my text easy to scan at all times, and this was a nice reminder on exactly how that can be done. Hi Pamela… I always believe that valuable content is the king, I want to do your idea in creating useful article.
Thank you Pamela…. Pamela, thank you so much for those helpful tips. Among them, I have been applying numbers, subheads, bold emphasis, internal links and bullets. They look nice and readable, indeed. Once again, thank you, Pamela. Just kidding! Skip to primary navigation Skip to content Skip to primary sidebar. Your precious words. Nobody reads them. No comments, no tweets, no sharing on Facebook. Think you need to spend another 10, hours perfecting your writing skills? Probably not. Make it snappy To write successfully for the web, you need to forget some of what you learned in English composition class.
Embrace the line break There are few easier ways to make your content more readable. Feature one idea per paragraph, and keep them short — three or four sentences at most. And try writing some paragraphs with one sentence only. Break up your content with compelling subheads One technique taught here at Copyblogger is to write your headline and subheads first. They look different from the rest of your text, so they provide a visual break for your reader.
Add relevant and helpful links Internal links back to your own cornerstone content will keep people on your site and reading your best material. Highlight content strategically Add emphasis to your content by bolding important concepts. Harness the power of numbers Think those numbered list posts are tired? Numbers are an incredibly effective way to both capture attention and keep the reader oriented. You can often make a post more compelling just by numbering your main points.
Give it a try. Want to create better content, every time? Grab this quick, easy resource: Get the Content Confidence Checklist. Next article: Up for the Challenge? Keep the writing short and sweet. Bullet points focus our attention. They help break up short paragraphs and focus on key points. Sub headers also capture our attention and usually focus on benefits. These great points about writing effective blog posts also apply to good B2C copy. Thanks for the excellent sharing!
I love 8. I never done this and it makes perfect sense. I really liked the tip about writing in an inverted pyramid style. You need to draw your readers in at the first sentence! Great post Pamela. Loved it! I find it very different from print. Thanks for your comment, Chris! Best, Christine Hueber. Love it! You guys totally rock. Nice thinking. Thanks again. Hi Pamela, Being forced to read short little posts about a complex subject is maddening. I do appreciate white space, bullets and headings; but I appreciate skilled writing, as well.
That sounds like a good rule of thumb to me. Hi Mike, That magic number always comes up, but this is the first time I heard a solid reason for it. That explanation right there, sold me. Yours is an excellent article, with points very well taken. Thank you a lot for your unvaluable guide.
Something essential that you demonstrated here is shorter sentences and shorter paragraphs. Use design! I agree: adding design elements helps, too. What is CSS? Good post, great information. Hi Pamela, Up until reading this article, I had been doing at least a few of the points in my content. Could you clarify that a little further here? Thanks Pamela, That explanation help a lot and greatly appreciated.
Thanks for a great blog. Hi Pamela, I need to be reminded about this all the time. I like it! I going to start to start putting these 8 tips into practice today. Thanks for the great read! Hi Pamela — I think you had me at the headline! Hi Pamela, Thanks for the great reminders. There is one other compelling reason to utilize these ideas. They make writing easier! Why no deep caption on the 8-ball image? I have, however, used them in sales letters, where they work very nicely. Brilliant article.
Obviously this is real, working advice because of all the comments! Awesome Post! Looking again you did mention images. I definitely agree that links should be there for a good reason. Great article Pamela. Thank you — Theresa. I scanned this article and I thought the technique you presented works, at least for me. Thank you. Let it be duly noted that Rich Beaubien thinks I am in my twenties! This has made my day…. Thanks for sharing that!
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Hi Rich, It all depends on the purpose of your post. Very sensible, Jack. I also had a GEnie account, which is really reaching back into the mists of time. And you know what? Or to proofread, sadly. No time for proofreading. Hi Pamela, I really like this post as I am fairly new to the blogging world. Cheers Margot. Pamela … love your work! Thanks, Mark! And, in fact, what you learned in English composition class might serve you well. The bottom line is that we need to deliver content the way our target readers consume it … A couple of minor additions …. I love how you illustrate the points you talk about with your own article about writing.
Thanks for the tips. Thanks for the tips! Thanks for the post, Craig. Thanks for reporting your results, Craig. Pamela, Thanks for some really good advice. Pamela, you complete me. I mean, you convinced me. Break some of my larger articles into smaller articles. Revise many of my subheads so that a scan of my subheads shows the gist of the articles. Good luck to the rest of you! Great info — Thanks Brian Subheadings matters a lot in content. I hope that helps! Hi, thanks for the info.
Great post, thanks. Deep caption: Do you mean to add a short caption to an image posted in the text? Thanks for this post, it helped me a lot! You might be right, Antonio! All very worthwhile suggestions, which I know work. Colors apply here as well this could be red In fact, very often documents specially squeeze pages are not read in sequence from the beginning till the end, but jumping and scrolling up and down instead.
So, there are more than two paths, indeed. Thanks for the info Andrew. Thank you for taking the time to explain such an important subject. Great read Thanks. I aways embrace the line and some times use bulleted list if there is any need. I guess my problem is headlines. But am working on it. Hello, Pamela! Great work! Make it a great one! But, people do comment on my posts, and they do definitely read it, at least it seems so.
Hi Pamela, Love this article and thanks for sharing. Hi Pamela, Thank You for nice and obviously well written post for advising us well written post lol. Thanks for this great info — very informative and encouraging! Hi Pamela, This is a nice article about content writing tips and I agree with most of the points.
Want to learn more about essay writing?
It would be great if you could clarify the SEO aspect of it. An irregular approach is exactly what you need in order to amaze your reader. Speak in a roundabout way, ask questions, and tell stories. Use your imagination and creativity, because you have only one attempt to attract your reader. Jokes and stories are not enough for a good introduction. You should also include a thesis statement in the first paragraph. The thesis statement is one, perhaps two sentences at the beginning of your essay that summarizes your ideas and sets a direction and steps for your writing.
What function does an admissions essay have in the application process, and why is it important? An admissions essay allows the colleges to learn more about the candidate.
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An admissions essay is the only way for the colleges to learn what kind of person the candidate is. An admissions essay is the only way for the colleges to learn what kind of individual the candidate is; it has to demonstrate his or her personal qualities, career aspirations, and life goals. We are sure that now you know exactly how to write a good introduction for an essay and grab the attention of the pickiest reader. Go on to step three. A burger without meat is worth nothing.
It is the same for an essay and the main body. The body paragraphs are the part of your essay between the introduction and conclusion. Text length depends on your word limit and your own writing energy. Every paragraph has to loosely consist of a similar number of words. It had to be done.
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Every paragraph represents only one sub-point in order to let your reader easily follow your reasoning. The most important, or strongest, arguments you should place at the beginning of the essay main body or save for the last paragraph because they will make a first impression and form a fine aftertaste. All parts of the main body should be connected with proper transitions. A coherent text is more convincing and readable than a range of random arguments. You should enforce all points with one or more supporting details. Your statements will sound unreliable without facts, real-life examples, quotes, statistics, etc.
Remember that not only the general length of your writing matters. Every paragraph should be about sentences. It is impossible to make a statement and prove it in one sentence. On the other hand, a reader loses his or her concentration while reading a long paragraph.
That is why there is no need to elongate your speech artificially. One of the most popular models of writing is the five-paragraph essay. It is not always appropriate, but useful for beginners who have just started their way to academic success. The structure of this draft is simple: introduction, three body paragraphs, and conclusion. There are two different strategies of the disposition of the arguments. The first method suggests putting your weakest point in the middle in order to circle it with stronger ones. The second approach is like a downward staircase: the first paragraph includes the cleverest argument, and the last one — the weakest argument.
A good example is the best way to explain how to write a body paragraph correctly. Linking words help your readers to follow your reasoning Firstly, Argument some stories involve supernatural characters. Since demons do not exist in reality, a story that features a supernatural being should be seen as fantastic. Linking words help your readers to follow your reasoning Secondly, Argument several stories describe supernatural events.
The magician removes all the rocks with secret magic, but it is obvious that this is a fantastic element since magic does not exist. Linking words help your readers to follow your reasoning Finally, Argument liminality makes the stories fantastic. Linking words help your readers to follow your reasoning. Everything is clear now with the essay main body, and we can move on to the last stage of your writing. In your conclusion, you have to remind your audience why they have read your essay and why it was not a waste of time. That is why it has to be the best part of your writing.
Here is a list of four good strategies to complete your conclusion properly:. Restate the most significant points in the concluding paragraph and put a period. Great job! The reader wants to have a feeling of completeness. Your conclusion may repeat your thesis statement.
Now the cycle is completed. Sure, you should not repeat it verbatim, just use paraphrasing. Give your reader a hint about the further development of your topic or mention other aspects that could be interesting to him or her. For example, if you analyze the influence of Impressionism on European culture, in your concluding paragraph you may remark that it also had an effect on American culture.
You may quote or reference one of your sources. A quotation helps to specify and confirm your final point. If your essay is dedicated to a book or movie, this strategy is perfect. Use the Socratic method — ask a question. It may motivate readers to think over your topic or even to provide their own research. It is a brilliant strategy for those who want to stimulate thinking of their readers.
More data, more facts, more ideas. Just let it go! It has to be short and clear without unnecessary details. A conclusion is not a summary of your paper but a synthesis of your main points. Your readers understand perfectly well that the last paragraph is a concluding one. You should follow the same style through your essay.
It will be a more confusing than entertaining move. Do you really think that reading and understanding your topic is enough? Think again. Do you know how many types of essays exist? A gazillion. As a rule, a topic for this kind of essay is a general question. Your task is to answer this question and to persuade your reader that your opinion is the most immaculate and accurate. The argumentative essay belongs to the essay types that are frequently asked as a writing assignment in both schools and colleges. Mention well-known sources and real-life examples for your arguments to be more compelling.
Find more argumentative essay topics for your papers. The main goal of the analytical essay is — what a surprise — to analyze a tendency, behavior, event, etc. This type of essay is all about logical reasoning and structure. A reader should follow your thoughts naturally and easily. Use linking words to give a reader the right direction of thinking. You state a problem and offer your solution. Mention also your expectations about the consequences that will follow.
Your personal problems are not always interesting for readers. This is not meant as an offense, but only the truth. Using this essay, you explain an idea in a clear and simple way. NO emotions and NO opinions. Only facts and logic. In this type of essay , you provide your readers with a step-by-step guide. In short, you write an exhaustive and detailed instruction. Start a new paragraph for each step in order not to confuse your readers. You should not write about your general impression.
You have to describe all the aspects of your subject: how it looks, how it smells, how it feels, etc. Use your imagination skills in full force. After reading your essay, everyone has to agree with your viewpoint. Compelling arguments, eloquence, and confidence are the fundamental tools for providing a brilliant persuasive essay.
Persuasive and argumentative essays are similar but not the same! This type of essay defines a certain term, concept, or phenomenon in a very detailed way. You should investigate the origin, the usage, and the meanings. The dictionary definition is not enough; provide deep and comprehensive research on your topic.
You have to list the differences and similarities of two events, devices, tendencies, celebrities, etc. Push the boundaries! Compare unexpected objects: gadgets, brands, websites, etc. This essay is a crucial part of the application process. The admission board wants to know more about you through your writing. For certain, you wonder how to choose a college essay topic.
They are so various that it is difficult to explain in a few words. Show the admissions officers that you are not merely a handful of accomplishments but a perfect candidate for their college. Choose what to write about among our topics for admission essays. Your primary goal is to specify the reasons and consequences of a certain problem or event. You may investigate the cause, suggest effects, or do both. In fact, it represents opposite opinions on a particular topic.
Be careful with your task! Sometimes, you should also provide your own opinion as a conclusion. In general, a narrative essay is a first-person story about a personal experience. However, it should have some kind of point or purpose. In that case, your narrative essay is a compelling and moving example to prove your main idea. Include all necessary parts of the story introduction, plot, characters, conclusion, etc.
Here is more narrative essay topics for your consideration. This paper is your verdict. You evaluate and criticize an art piece or a project in order to reveal its weaknesses or underscore its strengths. Your main goal is to separate objects, ideas, or things into particular groups. You have to explain your classification in a proper way and provide examples. Price; and my object was to apply it, to try the truth of those speculations on the perfectibility of man and society, which at that time excited a considerable portion of the public attention. In the course of the discussion I was naturally led into some examination of the effects of this principle on the existing state of society.
It appeared to account for much of that poverty and misery observable among the lower classes of people in every nation, and for those reiterated failures in the efforts of the higher classes to relieve them. The more I considered the subject in this point of view, the more importance it seemed to acquire; and this consideration, joined to the degree of public attention which the Essay excited, determined me to turn my leisure reading towards an historical examination of the effects of the principle of population on the past and present state of society; that, by illustrating the subject more generally, and drawing those inferences from it, in application to the actual state of things, which experience seemed to warrant, I might give it a more practical and permanent interest.
In the course of this inquiry I found that much more had been done than I had been aware of, when I first published the Essay. The poverty and misery arising from a too rapid increase of population had been distinctly seen, and the most violent remedies proposed, so long ago as the times of Plato and Aristotle. And of late years the subject has been treated in such a manner by some of the French Economists; occasionally by Montesquieu, and, among our own writers, by Dr.
Franklin, Sir James Stewart, Mr. Arthur Young, and Mr. Townsend, as to create a natural surprise that it had not excited more of the public attention. Much, however, remained yet to be done. Independently of the comparison between the increase of population and food, which had not perhaps been stated with sufficient force and precision, some of the most curious and interesting parts of the subject had been either wholly omitted or treated very slightly. Though it had been stated distinctly, that population must always be kept down to the level of the means of subsistence; yet few inquiries had been made into the various modes by which this level is effected; and the principle had never been sufficiently pursued to its consequences, nor had those practical inferences drawn from it, which a strict examination of its effects on society appears to suggest.
These therefore are the points which I have treated most in detail in the following Essay.
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In its present shape it may be considered as a new work, and I should probably have published it as such, omitting the few parts of the former which I have retained, but that I wished it to form a whole of itself, and not to need a continual reference to the other. On this account I trust that no apology is necessary to the purchasers of the first edition. To those who either understood the subject before, or saw it distinctly on the perusal of the first edition, I am fearful that I shall appear to have treated some parts of it too much in detail, and to have been guilty of unnecessary repetitions.
These faults have arisen partly from want of skill, and partly from intention. I was willing to sacrifice all pretensions to merit of composition, to the chance of making an impression on a larger class of readers. The main principle advanced is so incontrovertible, that, if I had confined myself merely to general views, I could have intrenched myself in an impregnable fortress; and the work, in this form, would probably have had a much more masterly air.
But such general views, though they may advance the cause of abstract truth, rarely tend to promote any practical good; and I thought that I should not do justice to the subject, and bring it fairly under discussion, if I refused to consider any of the consequences which appeared necessarily to flow from it, whatever these consequences might be.
By pursuing this plan, however, I am aware that I have opened a door to many objections, and, probably, to much severity of criticism: but I console myself with the refection, that even the errors into which I may have fallen, by affording a handle to argument, and an additional excitement to examination, may be subservient to the important end of bringing a subject so nearly connected with the happiness of society into more general notice. Throughout the whole of the present work I have so far differed in principle from the former, as to suppose the action of another check to population which does not come under the head either of vice or misery; and, in the latter part I have endeavoured to soften some of the harshest conclusions of the first Essay.
In doing this, I hope that I have not violated the principles of just reasoning; nor expressed any opinion respecting the probable improvement of society, in which I am not borne out by the experience of the past. To those who still think that any check to population whatever would be worse than the evils which it would relieve, the conclusions of the former Essay will remain in full force; and if we adopt this opinion we shall be compelled to acknowledge, that the poverty and misery which prevail among the lower classes of society are absolutely irremediable.
I have taken as much pains as I could to avoid any errors in the facts and calculations which have been produced in the course of the work. Should any of them nevertheless turn out to be false, the reader will see that they will not materially affect the general scope of the reasoning. From the crowd of materials which presented themselves, in illustration of the first branch of the subject, I dare not flatter myself that I have selected the best, or arranged them in the most perspicuous method. To those who take an interest in moral and political questions, I hope that the novelty and importance of the subject will compensate the imperfections of its execution.
Preface to the Fifth Edition. This Essay was first published at a period of extensive warfare, combined, from peculiar circumstances, with a most prosperous foreign commerce. It came before the public, therefore, at a time when there would be an extraordinary demand for men, and very little disposition to suppose the possibility of any evil arising from the redundancy of population. Its success, under these disadvantages, was greater than could have been reasonably expected; and it may be presumed that it will not lose its interest, after a period of a different description has succeeded, which has in the most marked manner illustrated its principles, and confirmed its conclusions.
On account, therefore, of the nature of the subject, which, it must be allowed is one of permanent interest, as well as of the attention likely to be directed to it in future, I am bound to correct those errors of my work, of which subsequent experience and information may have convinced me, and to make such additions and alterations as appear calculated to improve it, and promote its utility.
It would have been easy to have added many further historical illustrations of the first part of the subject; but as I was unable to supply the want I once alluded to, of accounts of sufficient accuracy to ascertain what part of the natural power of increase each particular check destroys, it appeared to me that the conclusion which I had before drawn from very ample evidence of the only kind that could be obtained, would hardly receive much additional force by the accumulation of more, precisely of the same description.
In the two first books, therefore, the only additions are a new chapter on France, and one on England, chiefly in reference to facts which have occurred since the publication of the last edition.