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2015-02-09    来源:fortune    【      美国外教 在线口语培训



This post is in partnership with Entrepreneur. The article below was originally published at Entrepreneur.com.

Writing is valuable. It doesn’t just transfer insights, it creates them. And since “good words are worth much and cost little,” choosing the right words is worth the price you pay in time (and sanity).

At Help Scout we look at the quality of writing through the same demanding lens we use to evaluate the quality of code.
在我的公司Help Scout,我们会用评估编码质量的严苛标准,来评价商业写作的质量。

I certainly don’t have this writing thing figured out—not even close—but thanks to the gracious feedback from readers, here are a few common signs that your writing is heading in the right direction:

1. Brevity. Soul. Wit.
1. 简洁、言之有物、措辞巧妙。

Few things drag down writing more than spreading good ideas over too many words.

2. Writing is not flaunting your vocabulary.
2. 写作不是炫耀你的词汇量。

“When you write you should pretend that you, the writer, see something in the world that’s interesting, that you are directing the attention of your reader to that thing in the world, and that you are doing so by means of conversation,” says Harvard psychologist Steven Pinker. Writing is not meant to prove ownership of a thesaurus—it is the selective transcribing of thoughts.

3. On having your cake and eating it, too.

The best writing is that which pleases at a glance but further rewards careful study. “A thoughtful list post” may seem like an oxymoron , but like a movie you can re-watch a dozen times, good writing hooks easily yet hides gifts for a discerning mind.

4. Don’t bury the lede.
4. 不要浪费导语的作用。

Before pen to page or fingers to keyboard, you must begin with knowing what you are trying to say. Every piece of writing should have the thesis, the value proposition, be entirely clear from the outset. The journey to the end of your essay should be rewarding for reasons other than figuring out what point you’re trying to make.
下笔之前,你首先要清楚自己想要说什么。每一篇文章都应该有一个主题,有一个从一开始就明确阐述的价值主张。 读完你的文章,应该是对你缜密推理的回报,而不是想搞清楚你究竟想表达什么观点。

5. To write more ‘Damn Good Sentences,’ read them.
5. 要想写出更多“佳句”,多多阅读。

In the book How To Write a Sentence, New York Times columnist Stanley Fish laments that “many educators approach teaching the craft of writing a memorable sentence the wrong way — by relying on rules rather than examples.” Garbage in, garbage out; you’ll produce better sentences if you dedicate time to reading them.

6. “In other words,” you should have used other words.
6. “换言之,”你应该用其他的词。

Insight is memorable when it can be embraced directly—don’t pad it with “essentially,” “basically,” or “in other words.” Use the right words the first time.

7. Don’t tell people how to travel; show them your vacation photos.
7. 不要告诉人们如何旅行;让他们看你的度假照片。

Grandstanding on topics you know little about makes you disingenuous—your deception oozes from every paragraph to an informed reader. Instead, hop off your soap box and don’t preach, be the Sherpa; share what you’ve learned in an honest way. People love following a journey.

8. An idea is nothing without a reaction.
8. 得不到反馈的想法一无是处。

Reactions are oxygen for writing. Until you get feedback on what you’ve said, your analysis can only reveal so much. Be prepared for critiques and criticism; great work is contingent on a willingness to be judged.

9. “Just write” is tired advice, but still needed.
9. “坚持写下去就行”虽是一条老套的建议,但依旧很有必要。

If you’re looking for a way to make hard work easy, you won’t find it in writing. You’ll struggle with the blank page until your butt falls off the chair—but until that day, keep sitting down and do the work.

10. Meandering endings can sour good writing; approach them quickly.
10. 曲折的结尾会让一篇好文章失分;结尾要干脆利落。

I’ll let Paul Graham handle this one: “Learn to recognize the approach of an ending, and when one appears, grab it.”

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